Residents of Central South Africa can brace themselves for some of the lowest temperatures this winter has seen so far after the South African Weather Services (SAWS) issued an Impact Based Warning Level 2 for Disruptive Snowfall.
The spokesperson for the Mangaung Metro, Qondile Khedama, says snowfall was expected in the southern parts of the Northern Cape last night, and it is expected to spread to parts of the Southern Free State today.
“According to the SAWS, there is a possibility of light snowfall in parts of Bloemfontein during rush hour, but it is not expected to cause major problems at this stage,” said Khedama.
Khedama urged residents to be extra cautious when using different appliances and other means of heat such as open fires, paraffin and gas heaters, stoves, fireplaces, etc.
“Our reports over time have shown that these apparatuses are the sources of most domestic fires. Due to the strong winds, no open fires or flames are allowed in the veld, while activities such as welding and grinding near grass must be avoided. Residents must be careful not to cause fires or burn rubbish in their backyards,” said Khedama.
General Safety Rules from the MMM:
- Switch off electric blankets before you sleep
- Do not leave heaters unattended
- Do not overload plugs
- Use SABS paraffin appliances
- Do not refill paraffin heaters while it is still burning
- Do not move gas heaters while it is still burning
- Don’t use open flames to check leaks on your LP gas appliances or hose pipes. Use soap
- Do not shake the LP gas cylinder to check level of the gas. Pour tap water on the side of
the cylinder and the water will freeze where the gas level is
- Extinguish home-made coal fires (paola) and take it outside before going to sleep
- Store flammable liquids in a plastic container, not a glass container
- Never smoke in bed
- Do not dry clothes on a heater
In cases of emergencies, residents should contact:
- Mangaung Fire Department: 051 406 6666/ 051 409 9600 or Toll free 107
- Ambulance 10177
Compiled by Pierce van Heerden