Cape town 090612 Snow on one of the Mountain tops Of Ceres. picture : neil baynes

The mercury is set to rise on Monday, following a weekend cold front that has held most of SA in its icy grip.

The SA Weather Service said the cold front, which started sweeping across the country on Friday, signalled the official start of winter.

In the Eastern Cape, snow fell in the mountains and high-lying areas, while the Cape Town weather office said snow had been recorded in the Matroosberg mountains near Ceres.

Cape Town experienced maximum temperatures of around 14ºC on Saturday. Temperatures are set to rise slightly on Sunday, with a maximum of 16ºC forecast.

But even as the sun comes out and the temperatures rise, Cape Town and most of SA shouldn’t expect anything higher than 20ºC.

Forecaster Carl Loots said: “We are going to be seeing much cooler conditions over the next week. Temperatures will rise, but we are not going to reach 20ºC, probably until Friday.

“We have a major warning for very cold conditions over the high areas of the Eastern Cape and Lesotho,” he added.

Warnings for very cold conditions for the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape interior and the southern parts of both the Northern Cape and the Free State were issued on Saturday.

A further warning for rough seas with wave heights of between 4m and 6m was also issued for the Western Cape for the weekend.

According to the SA Weather Service, Sunday’s coldest town will be Sutherland with -5ºC forecast.

The maximum temperature there for the day will be 10ºC.

Meanwhile, city disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they had provided assistance in the form of blankets and hot meals to thousands of people in areas including Philippi, Browns Farm, Hangberg, Khayelitsha and Masiphumelele since Thursday.

Weekend Argus