The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a yellow level 2 warning for severe thunderstorms in the south-eastern parts of the Northern Cape, the southern parts of the Free State, as well as the northern and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.
The community has been warned to look out for localised flooding of susceptible roads, low-lying areas and bridges, as well as localised damage to infrastructure, settlements (informal), property, vehicles, livelihoods and livestock.
“This kind of system will persist until the end of February into March,” Masizana said.
39 people die in Limpopo
Police in Limpopo called on residents to be vigilant, reporting that 39 people, including children, have lost their lives through drowning during the current rainy season.
Acting provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Major General Jan Scheepers, appealed to parents, guardians and the community to safeguard and protect children and exercise extreme caution.
The latest incident took place on Sunday, 06 March 2022, at Praktiseer, in the Tubatse policing area outside Burgersfort, when a 12-year-old boy, Thabang Mogofe, drowned in a hole that was reportedly dug up by a road construction company.
The incident was only reported on Monday. Police divers managed to retrieve the child’s body from a depth of 5 metres.
“Since the beginning of the rainy season to date, a total of 39 people, including 15 minor children have drowned under different circumstances. Some drowned when their motor vehicles were swept away by the strong waters after the drivers attempted to cross the flooded low bridges, others, especially children, drowned while swimming,” said Scheepers in a statement on Tuesday.
“As a community, we can turn the situation around and stop these drownings by knowing where our children are playing, educate them to desist from swimming in hazardous waters and exercise extreme caution when walking or driving in flooded areas.”
Wednesday’s weather forecast
Gauteng: Partly cloudy and warm with isolated showers and thundershowers. The expected UVB sunburn index: Moderate
Mpumalanga: Partly cloudy and warm to hot with isolated showers and thundershowers, except in the Lowveld where it will be very hot. It will be cool in places in the north.
Limpopo: Party cloudy and warm to hot with isolated showers and thundershowers over the western Bushveld.
North West: Partly cloudy in the west at first, otherwise cloudy and cool to warm, with scattered showers and thundershowers, but isolated in the west.
Free State: Partly cloudy in the west at first, otherwise cloudy and cool to warm, with scattered thundershowers.
Northern Cape: Cloudy along the coast at first, otherwise fine and warm to hot, becoming partly cloudy to cloudy over the interior with isolated afternoon showers and thundershowers. The wind along the coast will be moderate to fresh southerly to south-easterly.
Western Cape: Cloudy along the coast at first with morning fog in the west, otherwise fine becoming partly cloudy and warm to hot but very hot over the eastern interior. Isolated showers and thundershowers are expected over the north-eastern parts in the afternoon. The wind along the coast will be moderate to fresh southerly to south-easterly in the west, otherwise fresh to strong south-easterly to easterly. The expected UVB sunburn index: Very High
Western half of the Eastern Cape: Morning fog patches in places over the interior, otherwise fine and hot, but warm along the coast. It will become cloudy with isolated afternoon showers and thundershowers over the interior. The wind along the coast will be light to moderate north-easterly, becoming fresh to strong in the afternoon.
Eastern half of the Eastern Cape: Cloudy with fog and light rain south of the escarpment in the morning, otherwise partly cloudy and warm with scattered showers and thundershowers, but isolated in the south west. The wind along the coast will be a light north easterly, becoming moderate to fresh in the afternoon.
KwaZulu-Natal: Morning fog over the interior, otherwise partly cloudy and cool but warm in places in the east. Scattered showers and thundershowers are expected in the west, otherwise isolated except in the north-east. The wind along the coast will be gentle south-easterly in the north at first, otherwise moderate to fresh southerly to south-westerly. It will become moderate north-easterly in the south by afternoon. The expected UVB sunburn index: High
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde