Monday 13 June 2016 17:34
The South African Weather Service has also warned small stock farmers that very cold, wet and windy conditions are expected.(REUTERS)
South African Weather Service
South Africans should brace themselves for freezing temperatures in most parts of the country’s interior. There is also snowfall in mountainous areas this week and rain is expected in Gauteng, North-West and KwaZulu-Natal.
Continued rainfall has been forecast for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape later this week while some parts of the Northern Cape could see a drop in temperature as well.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has also warned public and small stock farmers that very cold, wet and windy conditions are expected with snow expected on the high-lying areas.
The SAWS says the severe cold and rainy weather is expected to last for several days. Forecaster Victoria Nurse says on Monday we are looking at a 30% chance of showers and thundershowers over most of the eastern parts of the country.
“With a 60% of rain and showers coming in over the central parts of the country, and this includes Gauteng, the eastern parts of the Free State and North West. Now we are looking at a warning for disruptive snowfalls over the Golden Gate National Park in the Free State as well as the southern Drakensburg in the Eastern Cape. This evening a cold front will make landfall over the Western Cape.”
With the cold front having started over the weekend, temperatures are expected to remain low in most parts of the country until Wednesday.
However, Nurse says the Western Cape is set to be hit by an intense cold front, starting from Wednesday. “Looking at temperatures across the country, Monday temperatures remain in the cold to cool categories and then going into Tuesday we see a slight warming over the north eastern parts of the country which includes Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. So as these cold front moves of the country and that will be on Wednesday we will see a general cooling over the south western parts of the country as a series of cold parts hits the Western Cape in the coming days.”
The Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) says three people lost their lives at the weekend due to incidents involving fire. It is believed that at least 17 fire-related incidents were reported in Gauteng due to the extremely cold weather.
Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi says people should take greater care when using open flames. “We also just want to urge our communities out there since the cold front is still continuing throughout the week we just want to urge our communities to keep on looking after their heating and lighting appliances. Things like heaters stoves and candles not to leave them unattended since most causes of this fire over the weekend where cost by the paraffin stoves heaters and candles which were left unattended.”
The Slovo Park informal settlement in Johannesburg is one of the many settlements which have experienced several shack fires over the years. SABC news visited the settlement in the morning and found dozens of people gathered around fires to keep warm.
Residents who were camped around a fire say the cold rainy weather severely affects them. “It is very bad the cold because now we can do nothing even the hands now doesn’t feel alright,” says one resident.
Another resident says, “It is very cold. I am dizzy. I do not know what to do now. I have no food, I got nothing to because I am unemployed.”
“The weather here is very cold and our roof is leaking and it’s a political matter now, this people need to give us houses and they must concentrate on elder people because there is high unemployment in our informal settlements,” adds another resident.