At least 700 homes have been washed away near the capital, Pretoria after Heavy rains battered parts of South Africa, submerging whole neighborhoods and flooding coal mines and power stations in a nation already hit by electricity blackouts.
The banks of two rivers burst submerging about 700 homes built with flimsy material in the poor neighborhoods of Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, SABC reported. South Africa’s weather bureau has warned of further flooding in the economic heartland of Gauteng and several other provinces.
The emergency services had rescued people who had climbed on to the roofs of homes and cars to escape rising water levels since Monday morning.
City officials said One person had died in the floods.
South Africa is the latest African state to be hit by floods. Almost 300 people have died and 2.8 million people have been affected by recent floods in East and central Africa, according to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The state-run power company warned of further electricity cuts, saying heavy rains had affected its operations. The power cuts, known as load shedding in South Africa, have halted gold and diamond production at some leading mines.
State-run power company Eskom said 6,000 megawatts of electricity – roughly 10% of the grid – was being switched off.
It said flooding at a coal mine and power station had disrupted supplies to homes and businesses. “The outlook for this week is to maintain load shedding because of the weather, because of the coal handling challenges that we’ve got,” Eskom’s chief operations officer Jan Oberholzer told the privately owned eNCA news channel.
Meanwhile the crisis has forced President Cyril Ramaphosa to shorten his trip to Egypt. His decision to return from Egypt came after the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) criticized him for going abroad during the crisis.
Earlier, Mr Ramaphosa acknowledged that years of corruption and mismanagement lay behind Eskom’s troubles.
He insisted the government was taking the necessary steps to fix Eskom and other state companies like the national airline, which is now teetering on the brink of