The Department and Water and Sanitation is warning communities and farmers situated downstream of the Vaal Dam to avoid the overflowing of water near the Vaal River’s banks.
The department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau warned downstream communities there is an imminent increase of outflow from the dams and a rise in the Vaal River.
“Farmers are asked to remove equipment that may be damaged due to the outflow. This is also a warning for communities to ensure that children are not swimming near the stream,” said Ratau.
The department opened two sluice gates at the Vaal Dam on Monday, 17 January.
Three gates from the five that had been opened previously were closed, but due to the continued rain in the catchments feeding the Vaal-Orange River System and the Integrated Vaal River System, there has been an increase in inflows.
“The department will continue to monitor the volumes, but the sluice gates will remain open until further notice,” Ratau said.
One gate opened on Monday at 10am, with the second one opening at midday. To manage and protect infrastructure, the department decided to keep four gates open for now.
The dam – which supplies most of Gauteng – stood at 108.5% on Monday.
Bloemhof Dam is 109% full, and the dam level increased over the past 24 hours.
Residents say the last time the Vaal Dam was this full was nine years ago.
But the large volumes of water have been a headache for those living and farming downstream of the dam.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney