Many residents still unaware of damage caused by heavy storms - Mamabolo

Mamabolo gave an overall update on the extent the storm had in some parts of the province saying the City of Johannesburg and the west rand have been severely affected.

FILE: A damaged home following a hailstorm in Johannesburg on 30 December 2017.  Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo says many residents who have left the province for the holidays are still unaware that their houses were destroyed in Saturday's disastrous hailstorm.

Two people died on Saturday when a tree fell onto their vehicle and over 30 houses have been damaged.

Mamabolo gave an overall update on the extent the storm had in some parts of the province saying the City of Johannesburg and the West Rand have been severely affected.

Mamabolo has urged residents to return home as soon as possible.

“There are about 12 shacks in Mohlakeng that have been affected and out of these 12 shacks, seven of them have been completely destroyed.

“And what worries us according to the report is that the owners of these shacks in Mohlakeng are currently not in the area because people have gone back home to different provinces.”

The MEC says the disaster management team is assessing the damage.

“Together with the municipalities across the province, our disaster management team has done extensive work on the ground to make an assessment to receive reports and conduct an evaluation of what has been the impact of the severe storms that affected our province.”

Earlier, Mamabolo said his department is compiling a report to assess whether to declare a state of emergency in some parts of the provinces after Saturday's hailstorm.

He said the report will be send to the provincial and national government to make a final decision of declaring state of emergency.

“The National Disaster Management Centre to which we’re part of in our case, will also be approached to source funds at national to be able to support those areas that require relief.

“So, all this must be based on consolidated report, and once we’ve that, we should be able to do that. But currently we’re providing short-term relief.”

[GALLERY] Joburg storm: Trail of destruction

Johannesburg and surrounding areas were hit by a heavy hailstorm on Saturday, 30 December 2017.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said two people have been killed following the hailstorm on Saturday.

The mayor visited affected areas on Sunday morning.

“So far, I’ve heard of cases of two individuals that have died in a car after a tree fell on them. I have witnessed some minor casualties.”

In a Twitter post, the mayor said he wants the storm declared an emergency in order to assist affected communities.

Johannesburg Emergency Services officials were kept busy on Saturday, responding to several incidents in the south and west of the city, including a ceiling panel that collapsed at Trade Route Mall in Lenasia.

However, the mall is operating normally after the severe hailstorm.

The mall’s Vanessa Fourie said the top floor of the shopping centre was affected.

“We confirm that no casualties were suffered within Trade Route Mall. Our centre has been affected by severe water damage, but we're busy with clean-up operations. We’ll open as per normal for trade.”

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service has warned of severe thunderstorms in Mpumalanga.

The service says thunderstorms are observed over Steve Tshwete moving towards Dullstroom heading into Emakhazeni local municipality.

A large hail and heavy downpours leading to flash flooding and strong and gusty winds is also expected.