Durban - Parts of the province have been hit by heavy rains over the past few days, which has led to flooding in Mkuze and Ndumo near Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
The province’s disaster management teams on Friday were already responding to the Umkhanyakude district, where houses and roads were reported to have been flooded.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (CoGTA) said according to the weather warning, the heavy rains could cause flooding and damage to both public and private infrastructure.
Residents, especially in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, were urged to remain indoors and for motorists to be extra cautious as heavy rains were expected throughout the week.
The province’s premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said disaster management teams were on standby.
“Our Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) are diverting traffic in areas where roads and bridges have been flooded. Some roads in the northern parts of the province are completely closed. We appeal to our communities not to risk their lives and stay indoors and not to risk travelling to festivals or public engagements because of the extreme weather conditions,” said Dube-Ncube.
She said so far no serious car accidents had been reported on major roads (N2 and N3), as a result of the heavy downpour.
“We are still a province that is rising from the devastating floods of April 2022 and the scars still remain visible. Let us act responsibly in these conditions to avoid any loss of life,” said Dube-Ncube.
On Saturday, the SA Weather Service (SAWS), issued an “Orange Level 5 Warning for Disruptive Rain”, leading to flooding of roads and settlements (formal and informal).
SAWS also indicated that the weather might cause danger to life (fast flowing streams/deep water), displacement of affected communities, damage to property, infrastructure, loss of livelihood and livestock, major disruption of traffic flow due to major roads being flooded or closed, possible damage to roads and bridges, isolated incidents of communicable diseases, isolated cases of breakages of dam walls, damage to mud-based/make-shift houses/structures, disruption of access to drinking water and damage to crops, was expected over the extreme north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
In Mpumalanga the Kruger National Park (KNP) had to temporarily close due to the heavy rains.
Some camps and roads in the southern part of the KNP were closed, with guests being advised not to use any gravel roads and to stay on the tar.
South African National Parks (SANParks) were further advised not to cross any low-water bridges as the dangers of being washed away remained high.
Hein Grobler, KNP's Acting GM in Commercial Operations Management, said the Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge, Biyamiti and Talamati camps were currently not accessible.
“Guests arriving at Talamati today have been moved to Satara. Management is in constant communication with guests inside these camps about the situation. No threat or danger to lives has been experienced in the park and we will try our best to continue to keep all our guests in the affected camps safe,” said Grobler.