Flood warnings issued for most of the country

Hailstorms were reported in a number of areas in Gauteng with reports of flooding in and around Durban.

FILE: Flooding on the N3 highway in Bedfordview. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Weather Service has issued a number of warnings throughout the country as widespread showers and thundershowers are expected to continue today.

Temperatures are also expected to remain low until Thursday.

Yesterday there was major flooding in and around Durban and heavy snow fall in the Free State and Eastern Cape.

Hailstorms were reported in a number of areas in Gauteng with reports of flooding in and around Durban.

The South African Weather Services Wayne Venter says: "We've a heavy rainfall warning that will lead to localised flooding in the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, the southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as southern parts of the Western Cape."

Venter says weather conditions should improve tomorrow morning.

"We're not expecting rainfall over the eastern parts of South Africa as it's clearing up quite quickly."

The Johannesburg Emergency Services say they have been placed on high alert.

Gallery: Heavy snowfall in the Free State, parts of KZN & EC


As the weather service warns of severe thunderstorms in Gauteng this evening, residents of informal settlements have also been warned to be careful when lighting fires during the cold weather.

The Social Development Department said in recent weeks, there has been an increase in shack fires in Soweto and parts of Diepsloot.

Social development's Mbangwa Xaba said people in shelters tend to make illegal power connections.

"We call on people to be careful with the use of fire because these cold times tend to make people vulnerable to the dangers of fire."

The department said it is working closely with various shelters and NGOs to deal with the influx of homeless people seeking help because of the extreme cold and wet weather.

Xaba said no one will be turned away with hail predicted this evening.

"It could be children, or those who are abandoned or even those who chose a life on the street, we care for them."

He said many of the shelters in Gauteng will be able to cope with the overflow of people who need food and shelter.

"The homeless people and all those who need facilities know where to find them, they tend to respond to them whenever there is a need."