19 January 2013

South Africa: Motorists Warned to Be Wary of Floods - MEC Vusi Shongwe

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
Flooding leaves many homeless.

press release

Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Mr Vusi Shongwe has called on motorists and road users to be wary of floods and exercise due care while driving in order to avoid their vehicles being swept away or becoming involved in accidents.

This follows this morning's incident where two vehicles were swept away by a river at a bridge in Tonga east of Malelane. The vehicles were an ambulance which had two occupants and a Provincial Traffic Patrol vehicle. Two occupants of an ambulance were successfully rescued. The police and the traffic officials are still searching for the patrol vehicle and its occupants.

Shongwe has also called on the general public to stay away from rivers and other flooding areas as this may pose a threat to their lives. He has also called on farm owners not to underestimate the on-going rainy weather because a flood warning has already been issued.

"Let us be more vigilant and not underestimate the magnitude of these rains because most of the rivers around Nkomazi Municipality are already overflowing. We cannot therefore assume that we know the rivers and put our lives by wanting to cross when they are clearly overflowing," the MEC said.

The MEC has also advised motorists to verify weather condition for places they intended travelling to and to also allow extra time to complete their trips. He said motorist must keep their headlights on while driving in order to enhance their visibility. He said that drivers also need to reduce speed and be more tolerant with each other in order avoid accidents.

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