By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Assessment of the extent of the damage caused by the recent floods that destroyed houses and other structures in Maluti-a-Phofunf local municipality has begun, paving for restoration.
The executive Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana District municipality, Conny Msibi, was joined by the disaster management team last week in taking stock of the aftermath of the thunderstorms and floods in QwaQwa area and conveying messages of support to those who have lost their loved ones.
The district disaster management office has confirmed the recent floods have claimed three lives, including a Grade 6 pupil from Justice Lefuma primary school, Bohlokwa Koloso (12), who allegedly drowned while swimming with friends in Bluegumbosch.
His devastated mother, Nthabiseng Koloso bemoaned her child’s sudden passing.
“No one really knows the details surrounding his drowning. We are informed by relatives and neighbours that Bohlokwa drowned, and his body was retrieved the next day by paramedics from a ditch near our area,” Koloso said.
The executive Mayor told The Guard that the district municipality is working with Maluti a Phofung to provide much needed assistance to those that have been affected and displaced.
“It is unfortunate that three lives have been lost due to the persistent rains that we experienced in the past week. We are here to convey our deepest and most sincere condolences to their families and loved ones,” Msibi said.
She also expressed her concerns regarding residents living close to rivers and low laying areas as they were the first victims of the floods.
“Hopefully, the provincial government and the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality will come up with a solution to prevent this type of crisis to occur again,” Msib saidi.
Meanwhile, Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s Chief Disaster Management Officer Mohlakoana Mokoena, said they are working hand in hand with the South African Weather Service to advise and alert the public at all times.
“The areas along the rivers in the valley make our work very difficult during the heavy rains. But we are still on high alert as the rains continue; we are also appealing to everyone to be vigilant and be wary of rivers and streams as they become dangerous during such times,” said Mokoena.
The heavy downpours completely submerged parts of MAP whereby rivers were overflowing and making access to distressed residents more difficult. Areas such as Mabolela, Slovo Park, Mphatlalatsane, Makwane and Bolata were among the hardest hit.