Durban — The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has warned motorists and pedestrians to avoid crossing swollen rivers and streams as it poses a serious threat to life.
The warning comes after recent heavy rains battered parts of the province and more heavy rains are expected.
KZN Cogta spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi said: “The KwaZulu-Natal Disaster Management Centre is urging motorists and pedestrians to avoid attempting to cross swollen rivers and streams as this may result in disasters and loss of life.
“Following heavy rains that are still continuing in various parts of the province, most of the rivers and streams are overflowing and some bridges are already flooded.”
Mngadi said this includes the Tshelimnyama Bridge in Mariannhill in the west of Durban and the uThukela River, which flows across the province.
Residents are urged to avoid the Tshelimnyama Bridge in Mariannhill because it is currently flooded as well as the P15 uThukela River near Hlangabeza Secondary School Maphumulo Local Municipality ward 02, the bridge crossing from Maphumulo to Nkandla and uMlalazi. Motorists are urged to avoid these areas.
In a video shared by Cogta, a vehicle is partially submerged in water. A man says it did not seem like anyone was in the vehicle. He says the vehicle’s number plate is not clear, but it appeared new.
The man says the previous day, the vehicle’s window was not shattered and they did not know whether the motorist escaped or not, they will await a police report.
The man also said that the Tshelimnyama Bridge was very dangerous and appealed to the public to be careful.
Mngadi added: “We strongly advised motorists not to attempt to cross flooded bridges. There have been cars that have been washed away while attempting to cross. As more rains are expected in various parts of the province, rivers will continue to be overflowing. Let us all be vigilant and exercise extreme caution to avoid disaster and loss of life during this period.”
On Wednesday, KZN Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi visited the flood-hit areas around the town of Ladysmith.
Sithole-Moloi held direct engagements with the local leadership on the steps being taken to address the challenges faced by the town and residents as a result of the flooding.
She visited affected residents housed in temporary shelters where she delivered interim relief working together with social partners.
Sithole-Moloi said a long-term solution is crucial as the flooding of the town causes huge disruptions.
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