Fleeing the damned
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝟮𝟲 𝗙𝗲𝗯𝗿𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯.
It began as an ordinary Saturday for Fanie Smith, a resident and business owner on the Vaal River in Gauteng. But in the space of just two hours, Smith and his neighbours were forced to evacuate their homes and flee to higher ground. When 12 of the dam’s 60 sluice gates were opened – all at once - millions of litres of water were sent cascading downstream, destroying homes and properties as low-lying areas were washed away. But residents say that the disaster could’ve been avoided. Continuous rainfall and rising dam levels were a signal to gradually open the sluice gates in the weeks prior and would have prevented the flooding. Carte Blanche finds out what really happened.
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