Heavy rains wreck schools, houses

THE Molemole municipality in Limpopo was yesterday facing the Herculean task of assessing the damage caused by a storm that hit the Botlokwa area, destroying houses and schools.

This followed heavy rains that fell in the area at about midday yesterday.

The municipality said it would approach the Capricorn district municipality to request financial assistance to help the affected families.

The villages of Springs, Mphakane, Sekhokho and Matseke were severely hit when heavy rains fell in the area.

The roof of a school in Springs, Khunwana Primary, was blown off during a hail storm and a big tree near the school was uprooted and damaged a teacher's car that was parked on the grounds.

At least 10 pupils had to be rushed to the nearby Botlokwa Hospital for treatment after they were slightly injured during a scramble to escape to safety.

Municipal spokesperson Timothy Molopa said yesterday they were still assessing the damage caused by the torrential rains.

He said the municipality would also decide on the nature of assistance that was needed to provide shelter for the families whose houses had been damaged.

He said the district municipality was in charge of disaster management funds and that they needed to complete a report to forward to the Capricorn authorities in order to obtain their intervention.

"We also wish a speedy recovery to the pupils who were injured because learning is what they should be worried about and not any other issues," Molopa said.

According to community leader Vusi Ramusi the villagers were still in shock after yesterday's destruction.

He said it all happened in a short time "and it was unbelievable".

"We call on villagers not to press any panic buttons as the situation will be brought under control," Ramusi said.