President Cyril Ramaphosa has undertaken to go to communities in flood-stricken KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Eastern Cape when he returns form his work visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
At least 32 people have been confirmed dead on Tuesday in KZN, with homes swallowed by raging floods, while scores of others have been misplaced in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, forcing them to take refuge in community halls and churches.
Ramaphosa has expressed his personal sadness at the loss of life and damage to property experienced.
"As South Africans, the entire nation's thoughts and prayers are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape who have been affected by the forces of nature against which they had little defence," said the president.
UPDATE: At least 32 dead after storm batters KZN
Ramaphosa was attending an emergency African Union (AU) Troika Summit convened in Egypt to discuss the political and security situations in the Republic of Sudan and Libya. He travelled back to South Africa on Tuesday night.
"Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property. This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities and to help alleviate their hardship," said Ramaphosa.
The president has welcomed the response of provincial authorities and national agencies in response to the calamity, as well as the support and goodwill - material and otherwise - provided by various sectors of civil society.
His spokesperson Khusela Diko said that Ramaphosa "has reiterated the call made by government for community members to avoid crossing low-lying bridges, streams and rivers; and for motorists to exercise caution and avoid driving in flooded areas".
The SA Weather Service has urged the public to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio.