KwaZulu-Natal disaster teams have been placed on alert as the province braces for the heavy rains, snow, and cold weather.
KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka, said a weather warning had been issued for parts of the province, including an increased risk of snowfall in the Harry Gwala, uMgungundlovu, and uThukela districts.
He urged residents to exercise extreme caution by monitoring weather conditions before making any journey.
“We are pleading with communities to ensure that they take the necessary precautions as the weather conditions pose a risk to human life. Our disaster management teams will monitor major routes and areas in KZN that are prone to incidents,” he said.
Hlomuka also called upon residents residing in KZN areas that might be affected to stay indoors and keep warm.
“In our efforts to keep warm, we once again urge caution, especially those who use generators and braziers. For those who might be traveling on our roads, it is important that they stay up to date on the weather conditions on the routes they plan to utilise. We also appeal to farmers and pet owners to ensure that their animals have adequate shelter,” said Hlomuka.
Durban officials have also decided to close the City’s beaches for the weekend.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) said that significant rainfall in the order of 20 to 40 mm may occur over parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the extreme eastern parts of the Eastern Cape on this day.
Furthermore, it said the south-western mountains of KwaZulu-Natal might experience disruptive snowfall during the course of Saturday, resulting in the closure of mountain passes and associated disruption to traffic due to icy and slippery roads.
Moreover, some communities at higher altitudes (such as ski lodges) may become isolated due to deep snowdrifts.
Following inclement weather that has been forecast for this weekend, 28 to 29 August, the City has taken the decision to close all beaches this weekend.
“Swimming, surfing, fishing, canoeing, and other related activities are therefore prohibited.”
EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda has warned that law enforcement personnel have been mobilised to enforce compliance with this notice.
“The public is urged to adhere to this notice for their safety.
“Activities such as jogging, walking, running, yoga, and other exercises are allowed.”
The City also said the decision to close beaches might be reviewed depending on weather conditions, and the public will be notified accordingly.