Residents cling to flooded homes

Residents of flooded areas on Johannesburg's East Rand refused to be evacuated as water rushed into many of their houses, emergency services said.

Spokesman Sugan Moodley said 75 people in Rondebult extension Phumula Heights had been asked to move due to rising water levels.

Arrangements had been made to accommodate the residents in Boksburg's banquet hall. However they refuse to evacuate their premises.

Disaster Management will now give them blankets for the evening, Moodley said.

On the other side of the area 140 residents of Holomisa squatter camp who also refused to be evacuated would also receive blankets for the evening.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesman Kobeli Mokhoseng said about 200 people in Tshongweni, Makula and Makagagula sections in Katlehong also refused to move.

"Emergency services personnel... will be sending them blankets and food parcels," he said.

Heavy rains swept through Gauteng on Thursday, causing flash floods and drowning.

A man drowned in the Apies River in Pretoria, said Superintendent Eugene Opperman.

Police divers were still searching for a 27-year-old pregnant woman and her four-year-old son, swept away in a flash flood in Ivory Park, he said.

Her son was strapped to her back when she apparently took a shortcut across the Kalkspruit river.

"We want to repeat our warning: especially when it rains, people should stay away from crossing what they believe to be shallow rivers to take a shortcut," said Opperman.

The heavy downpours had collapsed and washed away several walls and fences in Kempton Park and Norkem Park.

In Birchacres, many roads were full of bricks and debris such as tree stumps.