RTMC on high alert ahead of cold front, warns motorists to be cautious

The RTMC says motorists should refrain from driving in heavy snow, through flooded rivers and in heavy smoke.

Snow fell in both Western Cape and Eastern Cape over the weekend, as a result of cold front. Bad weather resulted in roads closures in some areas. Picture: Stephen Phillipson.

JOHANNESBURG – The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says it’s on high alert ahead of the cold front set to hit parts of the country this weekend.

The South African Weather Service has issued a fire warning in Gauteng and other provinces as the weather conditions could cause smoke, leading to poor visibility on the roads.

The RTMC says motorists should refrain from driving in heavy snow, through flooded rivers and in heavy smoke.

It says traffic disruptions can also be expected due to significant snowfall with possible closures of mountain passes in the Eastern and Western Cape.

The RTMC’s Thulani Zwane says, “Traffic authorities will be available in areas where severe weather is expected to assist motorists. But motorists could also make it easy if they could refrain from driving unless it is absolutely necessary and when there are floods on the road.”

EMERGENCY SERVICES ON HIGH ALERT

Emergency services officials in Gauteng say paramedics are on high alert for any casualties that may arise due to the cold front expected to hit the province.

Johannesburg Emergency Services' Robert Mulaudzi said there are more than 180 informal settlements in the city all of which will be monitored.

“Of course from our side as Emergency Services, we will remain on high alert to make sure that if there’s fire incident we can be able to respond as quickly as possible.”

The Ekurhuleni Emergency Services’ William Ntladi said, “We’ve got about 29 fire stations around and everyone will be on high alert, and even with the call centre, we’re expecting a high number of calls, then, as a result, our call centre is also ready to dispatch all the medical and emergency personnel.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)