Temperatures expected to plummet as SA records coldest night

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jul 22, 2021

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DURBAN: According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), tonight will be the coldest night of the year.

SAWS said some places will record freezing temperatures and small stock farmers need to take necessary precautions.

The weather service warned of widespread frost across the interior of the country on Friday in Gauteng, the Mpumalanga highveld, the Free State, North West and Northern Cape.

On Monday, SAWS warned of bitterly cold weather in parts of the SA.

"The cold temperatures will be due to a succession of cold fronts that are expected to sweep across the southern half of the country," SAWS said.

A second, more intense cold front supported by an upper-air trough blew in through the Cape yesterday, consolidating very cold, wet and windy conditions over the majority of the Western and Eastern Cape interior regions. Moreover, disruptive snowfalls can be expected in many of the higher mountain regions of the Cape provinces.

The icy temperatures have already wreaked havoc on Eskom’s capacity, forcing the utility giant to implement stage 2 load shedding from 4pm until 9pm.

Eskom said a shortage of generation capacity, coupled with the severely cold weather in parts of the country, led to issues with generation units at Tutuka and Medupi Power Stations.

“Further, a unit each at Medupi and Tutuka, that were expected to return to service this afternoon have now been delayed, further contributing to the shortages. Breakdowns currently total 14 137MW, while planned maintenance is 2 924MW of capacity,” Eskom said.

While some took to social media to complain about the cold, others joked about warmer temperatures in parts of the country.

Tuls Tuls: "I'm freezing already."

Malcolm Molver: "And people won't have electricity for their heaters!! Thanks Eskom!"

Sir-Shad Honourable Baloyi: "I am ready for the freezing night with or without electricity."

Emmarien Saayman: "Don't complain please. Summer is coming and then people will be complaining about the heat as well."

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