Two boys have drowned trying to cross a swollen river on the farm Meerlust, near Worcester.
Rescuers were alerted by a farmer who reported that he saw a child float past on the flooded Middeldoring River .
ER24 paramedics who responded to the scene learnt that two boys, aged about nine, who were playing together, had tried to cross the river at what they thought was a low point. Both were swept away by the current.
They were able to recover the body one child, Mizack Adams, near the scene after he got caught by an obstruction at the river bank.
The body of the second child, Bradwin Davids, was retrieved later further down river during a search, a Worcester police spokesman said today.
Meanwhile, the heavy rain and freezing temperatures of the iciest winter in a decade wreaked havoc across the province at the weekend.
One of the worst affected areas was Masiphumelele, near Kommetjie.
Residents battled with flooded shacks yesterday after the weekend’s heavy downpours.
On Friday, weather warnings that included heavy rains and low temperatures were issued for the Cape. The icy conditions are expected to last until the end of the week.
“Every time it rains it gets like this; we have to deal with wet houses all the time in winter,” said Masiphumelele resident Lundi Makeleni, who has been living in the area for two years.
Makeleni said he had lost belongings in the floods.
Disaster risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes has confirmed on separate occasions that structures in Masiphumelele were sometimes flooded because they were built near a wetland.
“People come and build shacks here in summer not knowing it gets like this in winter,” said another resident, Thandazile Mtini, referring to the huge puddles dotted across the area following the rain.
Residents said they pleaded for help from the city constantly during the rainy season.
Disaster risk management teams have been sent to weather-damaged areas across the city. In Masiphumelele, residents received hot meals and blankets at a community hall.
Disaster risk teams have been put on high alert to monitor conditions this week. Statistics from the SA Weather Service last week showed that June-July 2012 was one of the coldest winters Cape Town has had in a decade. Only 2002 and 2003 trump this year’s average temperature of 12.4°C. - Cape Argus