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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 18 January 5 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# North West residents along the Vaal River have started evacuating their homes
# Severe weather patterns in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal will become common due to climate change
# And rugby: The Bulls secure Werner Kruger as a front-row consultant

# North West residents along the Vaal River in Bloemhof and Christiana have started evacuating their homes. Persistent rain in the Vaal River catchment area has seen the water levels of the Vaal Dam increase significantly. Lekwa-Teemane local municipality mayor, Sebang Mothlabi, says river levels downstream from the dam is increasing at an alarming rate:

Play sound: ENG NWEvacuation

Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has urged South Africans to exercise caution as the rain has brought about dangerous conditions. Dlamini-Zuma says disaster teams have been dispatched across the country to assist communities affected by the heavy downpours. The minister added relevant authorities will assess the situation and provide the necessary support to affected communities.

And staying on this topic: Geologists and weather experts have indicated that climate change has been a major contributor to the recent harsh weather conditions in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ latest national statistics indicate that eight people drowned in the Eastern Cape due to the heavy torrential rain. Geologist Gideon Groenewald says South Africans should brace themselves for a cold and wet year:

Play sound: ENG Geologist

Meanwhile, at least 10 people have died in flash floods triggered by torrential rain that battered Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo overnight. AFP reports the floods caused landslides and houses to collapse. Some 20 districts are on red alert, facing imminent danger of flooding.

# Rugby: The Bulls say they are excited to announce the inclusion of former prop, Werner Kruger, as a coaching consultant. The 36-year-old former Springbok was, up until he retired from rugby last year, one of the most experienced tighthead props. He has been capped well over 100 times each for the Bulls in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup before adding another century of caps at the Welsh club, Scarlets. Director of Rugby, Jake White, said he will work with the front row of the Bulls with immediate effect.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-40-cents and the euro at 17-rand-53-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-94-cents and Bitcoin trades at 41-thousand-553-dollars-7-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-818-dollars-34-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 87-dollars-68-cents a barrel.

For the latest news stay tuned to ………….

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