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Snow in Gauteng: EFF says despite the awe, snowfall has devastating impact on the poor, and destitute

A young boy building a snowman

The snowfall experienced in Gauteng was met with excitement, but the Economic Freedom Fighters has directed its officials to check on vulnerable communities. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 11, 2023


The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said while there was general excitement around the snowfall, particularly in Gauteng, the party was concerned about the plight of the poor communities living on the streets and in shacks.

While parts of South Africa regularly receive snowfall, the experience of snow is rare in Gauteng, and the phenomenon brought much awe, with several Joburg residents taking photos in the snow.

The City of Johannesburg previously experienced snowfall in August 2012.

The South African Weather Service has said the inclement weather will continue into the week.

EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said the impact of the harsh weather was devastating among the vulnerable community members.

Snow was previously experienced in Johannesburg in August 2012. File Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

“The impact of snowfall and cold temperatures on vulnerable individuals, including the homeless, shack dwellers and other destitute people can be deadly. Ideally, while we should implore the government to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the destitute, we have come to witness 29 years of incapacity from the state,” said Thambo.

“However, the EFF has proven its capacity, since its inception in July 2013, to assist the destitute with whatever resources it has at its disposal. Today is no exception: all our structures and public representatives in affected areas are directed to mobilise resources available to provide aid and relief to the destitute.”

Additionally, the EFF has called on motorists to exercise caution while travelling in the unusual weather conditions.

“While we acknowledge the awe that the snow brings to many, in the interest of safety, we call on motorists and pedestrians to exercise caution as the road conditions are hazardous,” said Thambo.

On Monday, the South African Weather Service (Saws) said some parts of Gauteng experienced snow, as the country experienced very cold weather on Monday.

Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Saws meteorologist Lehlohonolo Thobela said snow was experienced in Gauteng.

“Sleet is just a reference of snow that is very, very light. It is true that we have experienced some of it, but some of the places especially around the East Rand, and that includes Heidelberg, they experienced snow where it was actually quite greater size which resulted in snow,” he said.

“Sleet is just a word that will just explain that it is very light snow falling over some areas, especially over the southern parts, spreading over to some areas of Sandton in Gauteng.”