Mamabolo calls on residents to heed weather warnings

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At least five people have been killed following harsh weather conditions in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Two of the deaths happened in Johannesburg after a severe storm accompanied by heavy rain, hail and strong winds wreaked havoc in the south of the city and on the West Rand.

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo says homes and shacks were destroyed throughout the province due to flooding.

Part of Leratong Hospital in the West Rand was also damaged.

Mamabolo says two people died after a tree fell on the car they were driving. He also says a number of people were injured.

“Let me also indicate that we have received a report that two people lost their lives in Lenasia in the city of Johannesburg because a tree fell on their vehicle as they were driving and this has unfortunately led to loss of life and our condolences to them and their families. A number of people were treated for various injuries.”

Temporary relief services have been set up for people that have been affected by the storm that raged through Gauteng Saturday.

Mamabolo says they have set up a number of tents around the province, especially in Johannesburg and Mogale City where homes and shacks were destroyed.

“Our provincial disaster management centre is working with municipalities to finalise the assessment of the damage so that we can measure the true extent of the damage and the financial costs of the damage. Government at the moment is providing tents to people that don’t have shelter; blankets, food parcels to those affected by the storms.”

Mamabolo has called on the province’s residents to heed weather warnings.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg following a storm in Gauteng on Saturday Mamabolo asked residents to take precautions when weather warnings are issued.

He says the best way to manage weather damage is for communities to take precautions.

“When weather authorities have issued warnings and signals that there could be serious changes in weather patterns that there are certain measures they can take because the best way to proactively take control and manage the weather conditions is when people themselves working with government respond promptly and swiftly.”