By Kaya 959 News
From icy weather to more loadshedding, it’s been a tough start to the month for South Africans.
Gauteng recorded its lowest temperatures this week. According to Gauteng Weather, the first freezing temperatures in the extreme south with the coldest night so far in 2021, was recorded on 1 June.
Vereeniging recorded an icy 0°C while most of Johannesburg recorded an average of 2 °C.
The South African Weather Services said the cold weather is expected to continue into the coming weekend.
SAWS predicted snowfall of between 5cm and 15cm over Lesotho and the southern Drakensberg mountains.
“The cold temperatures follow in the wake of a cold front that moved over the eastern parts of the country on Sunday, sustained by the development of a cut-off low pressure system over the south-eastern parts of the country,” SAWS said.
The cut-off low-pressure system is to blame for the adverse weather, which included snowfall.
Parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the southern Drakensberg mountains and the Eastern Cape were turned into winter wonderlands as snow fell overnight.
Areas in north-eastern KZN were battered by strong winds and rainfall.
Disaster management teams were placed on high alert and motorists are urged to drive carefully.
KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, said her department will quantifying the extent of the damage caused by the snowfall and heavy rains mainly affecting areas in the Drakensberg Mountains, Kokstad, Underberg, Van Reenen’s Pass and Nquthu.
“We have received reports that some roads and bridges in district municipalities such as Ugu District, parts uMkhanyakude District, eastern King Cetshwayo District and eastern Zululand District have been flooded. A team will be dispatched to assess if there is any damage to transport infrastructure once the heavy rains subside, and they will put together a report on how the department can intervene,” she said.
Nkonyeni said they will have teams on the ground who are on 24-hour standby.
“Our Road Traffic Inspectorate is diverting traffic in areas where roads and bridges have been flooded, especially in low-lying areas,” she said.
South Africans were also forced to contend with fresh news of loadshedding.
Eskom announced that due to further breakdowns of generating units at Majuba and Arnot Power Stations today, as well delays in returning units to service at Arnot and Tutuka Power Stations, stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented until Friday.
“The emergency generation reserves have been used extensively in the past days to avoid loadshedding during the day. This has resulted in these being depleted, reducing available capacity. It is, therefore, necessary to implement loadshedding continuously until Friday night at 22:00 in order to replenish the emergency reserves,” it said.
Eskom said breakdowns currently total 13 601MW of capacity, while another 1 330MW is unavailable due to planned maintenance.
“Eskom teams are working hard to return generation units to service, as well as to replenish the emergency reserves. Eskom would like to appeal to the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to assist the country get through these capacity constraints,” it said.
Stage 2 #loadshedding will continue today.
Eskom customers can access schedules from https://t.co/SQhZfdzlHR or on the MyEskom app.
Municipal customers can contact their respective municipalities for their schedules. pic.twitter.com/7j63jCGziY
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) June 3, 2021