As Newcastillians embraced a welcome change in weather on Wednesday, 27 September 2023, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Thembi Nkadimeng, issued a cautionary advisory to communities nationwide due to the persistent potential for inclement and blustery weather.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs expressed concern over the existing adverse weather circumstances, typified by wildfires and heavy rains impacting several provinces.
“The Minister urges communities across the country to be extra cautious as the potential for further inclement and windy weather conditions remains high,” said COGTA.
In response to this, Nkadimeng directed respective disaster management centres to activate relief and response measures, ensuring the preservation of life through effective rescue and recovery initiatives.
Notably, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) outlined the prevailing weather conditions. Cloudy and cool to cold weather will persist over the northeastern provinces, accompanied by intermittent showers and thundershowers across regions including Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and the eastern Free State. Additionally, these conditions are expected to extend to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
The weather service has also forecast that Newcastle, Utrecht, Ladysmith and Vryheid can expect thunderstorms on Wednesday.
The Western and Eastern Cape have thus far experienced major flooding, resulting in significant damage to infrastructure and property.
“Sadly, several communities have been displaced and some roads are inaccessible, which is detrimentally affecting lives and livelihoods.”
As more rain is predicted, the Minister has urged communities to adhere to essential safety precautions:
- Exercise extra caution, especially in flood-prone areas.
- Stay updated with regular weather updates and warning messages from SAWS.
- Collaborate with relevant authorities and adhere to safety guidelines.
- Exercise heightened caution in low-lying areas during storms, considering potential flooding.
- Monitor rising water levels and evacuate to safer locations if necessary.
- Exercise caution regarding power lines and road debris.
- Avoid crossing flooded roads, low-lying bridges, streams, and rivers; opt for safer routes.
- Avoid walking, swimming, or driving in swiftly flowing water, even if it appears shallow.
- Motorists should park and drive in safer areas.
- Contact municipal disaster management centres, the nearest police station, or national emergency numbers (112, 10177, or 107) in case of threats.
- Educate children on the dangers of floods.
- Safeguard important documents in a water-resistant container.
- Keep your cellphone nearby and have emergency numbers readily available.
- Exercise vigilance during the night due to heightened difficulty in recognising potential road hazards.
- Be mindful of potential water contamination from raw sewage or hazardous substances.
As CoGTA emphasises caution amidst the inclement weather, we invite you to share your perspectives in the comments section below.