Tshwane declares state of disaster

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Independent Newspapers

Hail stones almost the size of a tennis ball are seen in a man's hands. Tshwane residents are mopping up after last week's severe storms. Photo: Handout/Supplied

Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has declared a state of disaster in two areas following violent storms, it said on Wednesday.

“At its council sitting... the City of Tshwane declared a state of disaster following a severe thunderstorm... causing widespread damage to property and infrastructure,” spokesman Selby Bokaba said in a statement.

Thursday's storm caused extensive damage to property in Soshanguve and Mamelodi, affecting about 44 800 households. Roofs, windows, solar geysers, cars and household items were damaged.

Damage was estimated at R100 million. The city had provided plastic sheeting for roofs and windows, blankets, mattresses and food parcels to about 1 600 households in the two areas.

“The Falala Community Hall in Soshanguve was used as a temporary shelter and blankets were provided to 700 people,” he said.

Some residents of Soshanguve had started repairing the damage to their properties. Gibson Makhubela and his family said four of their big windows were shattered. He said it took them at least four days to get them fixed.

“We spent most of the weekend looking for the glass and we were only able to get everything fixed on Tuesday. There was a shortage of glass in Soshanguve which hampered our efforts,” he told Sapa.

Mop-up operations were still under way, with technicians working around the clock to restore power.

“The City of Tshwane is delighted to announce that power will be restored before midnight today (Wednesday) to all the areas that have been without power following last Thursday's violent hailstorm,” Bokaba said.

Electricians and technicians were in the final stages of repair work at the Wolmer substation. He said if rain did not interrupt their work, residents could have their power restored by Wednesday afternoon.

Areas affected include Pretoria North, Montana, Annlin, Theresa Park and Magalieskruin. - Sapa

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