Vaal Dam is now over 110% full, says water dept

Residents are reporting how water levels are rising along the Vaal leaving them to evacuate their homes at the Vaal Reefs.

FILE: The department said it was not as easy as simply opening the sluice gates. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - With persistent rainfall in Gauteng and other parts of the country causing havoc and leaving people displaced, the Department of Water and Sanitation said the Vaal dam was now more than 110% full.

Residents are reporting how water levels are rising along the Vaal leaving them to evacuate their homes at the Vaal Reefs.

The department said heavy downpours his time of the year were unusual .

Although the rainfall has been welcomed in some areas, the department's Sputnik Ratau said they were battling with an over-capacity problem at the Vaal Dam.

He said it was not as easy as simply opening the sluice gates.

"We have to look at what is in the dam at any point, we have to see what the inflows are like coming from attachments and so on. And we also have to look at what the weather services are predicting. All of that then determines what kind of action we can take."

The Vaal Dam supplies most of Gauteng with water.

South Africa has over the current summer season received heavy torrential rains affecting several communities, with the Department of Cooperative Governance confirming that so far, 82 people have died in drowning and lightning incidents during this period.

In KwaZulu-Natal, several schools have not been able to welcome children back for the new year due to waterlogged classrooms.