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Giant sinkholes lead to the closure of two major roads in Gauteng and Western Cape, South Africa


Last week's heavy rains exacerbated collapsing infrastructure problems in South Africa's Gauteng and Western Cape, leading to the closure of two major roads. The storm left 2 people dead, 2 missing, more than 60 rescued and hundreds evacuated.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency announced it has implemented a sectional closure on Klipspruit Valley Rd (Southbound opposite Toyota, Maponya Mall) in Soweto, as a safety measure following a road collapse.

The stormwater infrastructure collapsed and caused the road to cave in and affected two lanes of the road, the agency said in a statement. The traffic has been diverted to the Rea Vaya Bus lane.

Motorists are urged to exercise caution by driving at a reduced speed and maintaining a safe following distance.

Motorists in Johannesburg have also reported a sinkhole on the M1 north just after Booysens but the road has not been closed yet, the Sowetan reports.

Parts of some other roads in the Western Cape, including Bonnievale, were washed away after heavy rains lashed the region last week.

The storm made landfall on May 5 and moved across the Cape Winelands overnight. Two people have lost their lives after a vehicle they were in overturned in floodwaters in Bonnievale on the R317. 

More than 60 people have been rescued, hundreds evacuated and two remain missing — one in Stormsvlei and one in Riviersonderend, as of Friday, May 7.

The worst affected was Overberg region, in particular Swellendam, Bredasdorp, Struisbaai, Riviersonderend.

The region was placed under a rare Level 6 Warning, indicating severe risks such as the displacement of communities, property damage, mudslides, and danger to life because of fast-flowing rivers and flooding of roads.

Featured image credit: JMPD


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