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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton

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A number of families have been affected by the recent downpours which have led to water overflowing from Grootdraai Dam in Standerton, Mpumalanga.

Executive Mayor for Lekwa Local Municipality Delani Thabethe says some communities in low lying areas have been affected and some roads flooded.

He said some roads and bridges had to be closed as a result.

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The road between Meyerville and Standerton has been closed.

Thabethe has urged communities to be alert when crossing bridges.

“Currently the damage caused by this is not that much there are certain families have been relocated for example six families that were housed at the Riverpark that which is currently closed are now relocated to Standerton town hall, and being provided with food and clothing, there are other houses experiencing minor flooding,” says Thabethe.

Thabethe has advised the public to exercise caution while crossing bridges, as some have been affected by the flooding.

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Currently, the extent of the damage caused is not substantial. However, a few families have been relocated, and six of them have been moved to the Standerton town hall, receiving assistance in the form of food and clothing. Additionally, some houses have experienced minor flooding.

“Once again, in the last few days, our compassion and our care as a society have been tested and proven to be resolute”, Thabethe said.

Watch: Jagersfontein mine dam burst causing floods in the Free State town

“Once again, the people of this town joined hands and sacrificed their time and resources to assist fellow community members”, he added.

This was evident when the Gert Sibande District experienced heavy rains from the 14th of February 2023.

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This led to an increase in the inflow into the Grootdraaidam.

The effect of this inflow affected the outflow, as a result, the Department of Water and Sanitation at the Grootdraaidam continuously released water through sluice gates.

This is done to ensure that the amount of water stored at the Dam does not cause damage to the Dam itself and the surrounding town which is Standerton.

“This has affected the municipality in that several areas were flooded. As of the 18th of February 2023, @07h00 Grootdraaidam level has increased to 28.10m = 112.88% inflow. Outflow is at 996m3/s. Three(3) gates are opened at 3m each,” said Thabethe.

Areas affected by flooding

1. River Park which also housed Six households is currently Flooded and Closed.

2. Rooikoppen Road towards Shukuma School and certain areas are also Flooded and Closed.

3. Princess Street, Burger Street, and Beyers Naude Street (next to Caltex Garage) – They are all Flooded and closed.

Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton
Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton

4, The Standerton Taxi Rank remains flooded and closed, taxis are making alternative spaces in town to load passengers to and from the town.

5. Certain Roads in Morgenzon were closed earlier and have now been opened while certain areas like the Morgenzon Golf Course remain closed.

6. The Meyerville Bridge which connects the Meyerville Community and the town and is also a major road portion used by the road users from Gauteng and KZN is partially closed.

SUVs and Trucks are allowed to make use of the road with caution.

7. Certain Roads in the rural areas of the municipality have been affected and some cannot be used currently.

Watch: Houses, cars washed away as floods wreak havoc in Durban again

Currently, Law Enforcers have been deployed to all affected areas to monitor and direct traffic.

Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton
Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton

Other stakeholders and other Departments are also on the ground to assist members of the community and road users with all types of assistance.

Transnet has also deployed a trolley with the capacity to carry eight (8) passengers only in case of emergency for Meyerville residents e.g. Doctor appointments, Hospital, etc.

Social intervention

Up until now no fatalities and injuries have been reported and no massive damage has been experienced those that needed to be rescued like the homeless people staying at the taxi rank were all rescued and supported with food and clothing.

There are houses and informal settlements in Standerton and in Morgenzon that continue to experience minor flooding into their homes and Emergency Services are on the ground to provide assistance where needed.

“On behalf of the Lekwa Municipality, I wish to thank all stakeholders, Departments, Companies, churches, and individuals who are currently assisting on continuous bases to manage the situation and provide support and assistance, May God bless all of you,” Thabethe said.

He requested members of the public and road users to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and observe safety at all times.

Overflowing Grootdraai Dam causes havoc in Standerton FB IMG 1676749717036

“We must treat all water on our roads with caution and ensure safety first.

“As the people of Lekwa, we have overcome other challenges before and we will overcome this one as well.

“I know this is a major setback as we were busy rebuilding our infrastructure and this will take us steps back but I am optimistic that we will rise again”, the Mayor concluded.

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