Durban — The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has warned residents across the province to be vigilant when using fire as the cold front persists.
The SA Weather Service (Saws) said its warning of disruptive snow in some parts of the country and cold fronts remained relevant.
Elizabeth Viljoen of the SA Weather Service said the combination of the very cold temperatures with possible snowfall poses a real risk for small stock farmers as well as any outdoor activities.
Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi advised families to exercise extra caution when using fire. During this time, people use paraffin stoves, gas and Izimbawula (fire inside the house lit in a tin). At the weekend, 111 shacks were destroyed by a fire in Port Shepstone at KwaMasinenge.
She said one person died, while another suffered minor to moderate injuries to the face and was treated on the scene.
Sithole-Moloi added that the fire outbreak had a severe impact on the KwaMasinenge informal settlement, as it left more than 300 people homeless.
“During the winter season, the province sees a high number of fire incidents that can be avoided. To minimise the risk, residents are urged, particularly those in informal settlements, to be extra cautious and not leave any fires, gas stoves or candles unattended while trying to keep warm,” she said.
Sithole-Moloi said illegal connections were also identified as a challenge, and communities were urged to exercise caution to prevent similar incidents.
The SA Weather Service said the disruptive snow warning remained until Monday at midnight. Residents in some parts of the country, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, woke up to snowfall yesterday.
The province of KZN was on a yellow level two warning for strong damaging winds, which may lead to small vessels capsizing, difficulty in navigation of small vessels and localised disruption of small harbours/ports for a short period of time along the coast. In KZN, the Midlands and parts of the Drakensberg were covered in snow.
On Monday morning, Gauteng province experienced slight snowfall.
IOL reported that the famous rugby ground Ellis Park and the Wanderers Cricket Stadium were covered in snow, looking like a winter wonderland.
Reading Country Club in Alberton was also covered in snow, which disrupted outdoor activities.
“A cold front will cause a significant drop in temperatures over Gauteng. Maximum temperatures are expected to drop between nine and 13°C in some places. Windy conditions are also expected, and due to the wind chill factor, temperatures may feel colder than measured values,” the Saws said.
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