KwaZulu-Natal has been put on flood alert and traffic authorities have warned against all unnecessary travel, as heavy downpours are expected to continue across the province until Friday.
The heavy rains have continued unabated since Tuesday night.
South African Weather Service forecaster, Stacey Colborne, said a weather warning for heavy rains and flooding had been issued last night.
On Thursday, the service had predicted thundershowers with very cold conditions.
Temperatures were expected to reach a maximum of 17ºC on the coast and 14ºC inland.
Colborne said heavy swells of up to 5m and extremely rough sea conditions had been noted.
A Department of Transport spokesman has confirmed that more than eight accidents have been reported since Wednesday.
The accidents had been caused by the bad weather, poor visibility and slippery road conditions, the spokesman said. “There are no road closures.
“But, several roads have been flooded and we are appealing to motorists to travel with caution. In fact, all unnecessary travelling should be put on hold.”
The spokesman also appealed to motorists to travel with their lights on to create better visibility for other road users.
Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesman, Lennox Mabaso, said no serious incidents of flooding or damage had been reported in the province.
Mabaso said: “The heavy rain has continued overnight and we have placed the province on high alert for possible flooding. Disaster management teams throughout KwaZulu Natal are also on standby.”
He said that communities had been warned not to attempt to cross rivers or low lying bridges. “The alerts were put out yesterday. We are monitoring the weather very closely and will keep communities updated.”
Meanwhile, the foul weather comes just after the country was put on a tsunami watch by the Council of Geoscience.
This comes after reports of an 8.7 Richter-scale magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, putting a number of Indian Ocean countries on tsunami watch.
A tsunami watch meant that there was awareness of the warning, but no immediate action was required, said Hannelee Doubell of the South African Weather Service.