Laingsburg flooding - photo: Twitter

Cape Town - Heavy rainfall caused severe flooding on Wednesday, with a man feared to have been swept away by flood water in the Western Cape.

Parts of the Western Cape have experienced heavy rain since Monday.

Near Laingsburg, parts of the N1 had to be closed because of to flooding, but the road was later reopened.

Traffic on several major roads was also disrupted.

Officials were searching for the body of a mentally handicapped man, who went missing on Tuesday and was thought to have been swept away by flood water in the Langeberg district.

Several farms had also been cut off due to the rain.

There were reports that some houses in the Breede River valley, Laingsburg, Hessequa, and George had been flooded.

Western Cape disaster management spokesman Colin Deiner said residents from the Buffeljagsrivier informal settlement (in the Overberg district municipality) were being accommodated in the Swellendam community hall.

Some government departments had sent officials to monitor and provide help in the affected areas.

Officials were also monitoring rivers in the area, some of which were overflowing.

In the Eastern Cape, eight children, aged between seven and 18, were rescued from the Thina River after heavy rain in the Mpindweni area, police said.

The children, aged between seven and 18, were rescued on Tuesday, said Warrant Officer Steve Leslie.

Twenty children were swimming in the river when it began raining, raising the water level. Twelve of them got out and called residents for help. The children were rescued and taken to safety, he said. - Sapa