Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Mandla Msibi, has revealed this in a statement.
He says a 5-year-old boy was swept away by a stream of water at Masoyi in Mbombela; a 40-year-old man drowned in a local river in Pilgrims’ Rest while a baby fell into a river at Elukwatini while her mother was crossing.
“The fatalities have left us grief-stricken. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” says Msibi.
The MEC is urging the public not to risk their lives by crossing local rivers and dams as they are currently overflowing.
The heavy rains were a result of Cyclone Eloise, which also battered parts of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
Heavy rains continue to lash the Vhembe District in Limpopo due to tropical Cyclone Eloise, which has been downgraded to an overland depression.
The district spokesperson, Rudzani Ralushai, says although the cyclone was not as severe as it was anticipated, road infrastructures, bridges and houses in area, particularly in Tshakhuma Village, were damaged by heavy rains and floods, leading to the evacuation of some community members.
Ralushai says the electrical infrastructures were also damaged.
“We are happy with the response of the district disaster management team and the support coming from the department of social development in terms of food parcels in areas where community members are affected,” he says.
Ralushai has reiterated a call for residents to remain vigilant and avoid playing or crossing flooded rivers.
The cyclone has caused no major damages in the Mopani District.
Spokesperson Odas Ngobeni says some municipalities are currently experiencing light rain and some roads are flooded and damaged.
The Limpopo Department of Social Development is distributing relief to households that have been affected by the localised floods in the Vhembe and Mopani districts.
The spokesperson for the department, Witness Tiva, says: “Thus far, an assessment conducted by social workers and community development practitioners and other government officials identified 80 families with the majority in the Vhembe District. The affected are in the Thulamela, Collins Chabane, Musina, Makhado, and Greater Letaba local municipalities.”
The department is assisting families with parcels, dignitary packs, blankets and other basic amenities. There were no fatalities or injuries reported in both districts.
Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga residents are bracing themselves for Tropical Storm Eloise, which is expected to hit the local shores on Sunday.
Heavy rains and floods are expected to lash the Mopani and Vhembe districts, among other parts of the country.
The two municipalities say they are prepared for any disaster that may occur and are working closely with the national disaster management team.
Mopani District Spokesperson, Odas Ngobeni, says they have roped in the health, and environmental health practitioners to make sure that the municipality observes lockdown regulations such as social distancing, in cases where individuals may be required to be evacuated to community halls.
The Vhembe District Municipality Spokesperson, Matodzi Ralushai, is urging community members to remain vigilant at all times.
In KwaZulu-Natal, meteorologist Mkhushulwa Msimango says the cyclone could wreak havoc in parts of the province.
Msimango is also warning people to be extra careful on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, power utility, Eskom, says it has made contingency plans to mitigate any risks and the possible impact on infrastructure and the provision of electricity.
Mpumalanga, where most of the power utility’s power stations are situated, is one of the areas expected to be hard hit by the storm. Eskom Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, says the power stations will implement wet coal contingency plans should the need arise.
“Typically, heavy rainfall for four or less days does not pose a significant threat to power station operations, but continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them. There are some power stations in the Mpumalanga area that have been experiencing ash dam constraints. Continuous heavy rainfall over these power stations could hamper operations and recovery efforts already under way,” says Mantshantsha.
Disaster management authorities in Mpumalanga are also on high alert.
The cyclone is currently lashing parts of Mozambique. – Additional reporting by Maputuland FM News Editor, Philani Zulu.