SA on snow go-slow

2011-07-26 09:50

Johannesburg - Widespread snowfalls interrupted morning routines on Tuesday, but South Africans did not mind - they took to the internet to share snow stories, while envious Johannesburg residents clung to the hope of possible sleet in the Vaal area.

Weather SA forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng said it was snowing heavily in the Lesotho area and overnight snowfall was reported in the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg area, the southern Free State, the Mpumalanga highveld and the Eastern Cape highground.

"We expect the snowfall will be ending tonight [Tuesday]," said Mofokeng.

The unusual weather caused the closure of a long stretch of the N3 highway, between Van Reenens Pass and Villiers.

Power cuts

Truckers and other motorists were lined up just before the N3 offramp. Most of the Free State town of Harrismith's petrol stations and stores were running on generators as the weather caused electricity cuts.

"Nobody must even think of venturing out on the roads," said resident Dries van Niekerk, owner of Dries Auto. "Today is a day to stay indoors and drink Gluhwein."

He said this was the worst snow storm he had seen in the town since 1992.

In Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal, a Sapa reporter said the snow was 5cm thick. It was still snowing by 08:30, with residents choosing to stay indoors for now.

The college in the town was closed while a minibus taxi driver said commuters were stuck in the nearby Madadeni and Osizweni townships.

Botha's Pass was also closed and the road into Newcastle had been barricaded off by law enforcement officials.

Snow pictures

Newcastle residents were up early, with snow pictures being posted on social networking site Facebook from 05:00.

Twitter users posted links to pictures of snow in Beaufort West and Victoria West in the Eastern Cape, and Volksrust in Mpumalanga.

News24 users sent in photos of children playing in heavy snow in Barkly East and Comfimvaba in the Eastern Cape, cars buried under thick layers of snow in Queenstown, and two adults posing proudly next to a snowman, not bothered by the cold.

Several Twitter users quoted the "weather service" as saying there could be "snow in Jozi" today.

Said Mofokeng: "It is more a possibility of sleet [frozen water] in the areas of Sasolburg and Heidelberg."

He added that it would start getting warmer toward the end of the week, although maximum temperatures would still be low.

- Send us your snow photos

  • tdk25 - 2011-07-26 10:06

    Met eish ja...met eish

      AmandaWhereTo - 2011-07-26 10:14

      Heh heh :) Nicely done.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-07-26 10:52

      Nog n eenetjie...

      mikel buran - 2011-07-26 11:17

      Coal will be needed in Newcastle.....!

      chappy - 2011-07-26 14:42

      There's 5 tonnes outside the Eskom building...

  • Mlu - 2011-07-26 10:06


  • Morarius - 2011-07-26 10:11

    I'm from Newcastle, and it is 10:15 and still snowing strong. The roads are starting to ice up. Some places snow now ancle deep.

      MTRJ - 2011-07-26 10:53

      If it's still snowing in Newcastle this weekend, the wife and I will take a trip there. Both of us haven't seen snow yet!

      michael jennings - 2011-07-26 11:14

      is there enough coal in Newcastle, or should people bring their own?

      Morarius - 2011-07-26 11:29

      If you want to see the snow here, I don't think it will last untill the weekend, maybe untill thursday. It stopped now, but it is going on and off the whole time. It is not that cold, just bring hot chocolate!

      Tumelo Tsotetsi - 2011-07-26 12:38

      U guys are bessed, I am from there & now wish I was in Newcastle to witness this..I am closed out

  • Papsak - 2011-07-26 10:17


      Malakul Maut - 2011-07-26 11:34

      RWD is awesome on iced roads :D

  • jeremy - 2011-07-26 10:18

    Well, they seem to have got it wrong for Joburg. Right now it's bright sunshine, barely any breeze and it's already, at 10am, 12 degC outside, 2 more than the maximum forecast.

      Boychild - 2011-07-26 11:03

      think you must look again Jeremy, Temperature has steadily been dropping, no Sun in sight and grey wooly clouds from horison to horison..... Time 11H00: Alberton

      jeremy - 2011-07-26 11:59

      Hi Boychild, am in Pretoria now. It's clouded over a bit, but the car tells me it's 15 degC, much warmer than forecast.

      Tony - 2011-07-26 15:49

      Maybe the weather bureau forgot to RICA their thumb-suck machine!

  • buddingchef - 2011-07-26 10:34

    and who says we are going through a period of global warming?! hahaha :)

      jeremy - 2011-07-26 10:38

      We aren't going through a period of global warming. Certainly we need to cut down on carbon emissions and look after the environment as best we can, but right now there's absolutely no hard scientific proof of global warming, only local climatic variations - and they've been going on for thousands of years.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 10:44

      Looking at the course of the earth, it appears to have been struck around 4000 years ago and it's evening out - but if you look at how something acts when it's struck, it wobbles all over the place while still spinning before evening out on a new axis. So with that in mind, quite possible that one time of year is hotter than it was last year, or colder - its place in relation to the sun would be different...

      Eugene - 2011-07-26 12:17

      Professor Ian Plimer (a member of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide . He is also a joint member of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering) could not have said it better! The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet, all of you. Hey, isn't it interesting how they don't mention ''Global Warming'' any more, but just ''Climate Change'' - you know why? It's because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.

      RoyoF - 2011-07-26 14:23

      the naysayers and detractors and bird brains who deride global warming need to understand whats really at stake . We ARE changing the natural cycles of the planetits called the anthropogenic age and we are causing mass extinction of the earths species..its called the holocene extinction period and its happening because of the above posters attitudes.YES of course climatic variations have been going on ...only a retarded person would use that as a defense and only a moron would say that oh global warming has nothing to do with putting more carbon in the atmosphere . These cycles are normal but the speed at which we are tipping the ever shifting cart is unnatural and thus unexpected things will happen . And when they happen they are big and a lot of people will die .If there was a sudden shift in Atlantic currents it could mean a frozen Central europe or no rain for several years in central North America ....which means global wars for food.The shrugging off of responsibility by using as much plastic,petrol,water,polutants as you want and then going "aggh all this global warming is rubbish"...all you are doing is slowly sending your grandchildren and their kids to a terrible,dirty and unstable future . WELL DONE ,, now you know whats at stake.And Matt you are a idiot , the only thing that could coz the planet to shift its orbit is a collision with another planet like the moon which happend long ago.

      flyswat - 2011-07-26 14:31

      @RoyoF - SHame, you have been to brainwashing school, haven't you??

      flyswat - 2011-07-26 14:34

      @ RoyoF Dont you just hate it when you pull up in your V8 shagginwagon at the beach, toss off all your clothing jump onto the soft white sand belly first and, damn, someone's dog pooped on the beach... yuk!!

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 14:55

      @ RoyoF - well, there are various ancient buildings around the world that were built with part in alignment with the sun; they no longer align. I have a theory :-) but I'll spare it for 1 day... @ flyswat - yeah tell me about it... I caught the last half of An Inconvenient Truth and to tell an inconvenient truth, it smacked of propaganda. Make the individual feel small and the cause seem great. And for all the cars in the world, one volcano eruption emits more co2 than anything man-made stuff can ever emit. How many eruptions have there been in the past 200 years or so - ooh we're done for :-) Or, humans emit methane (eat cold baked beans to find out how), so do cows - so now in Europe they limit the amount a cow may sh1t (not a joke!!!), there's a drive to claim overpopulation... quite ironic how the liberals are the first to complain about capital punishment for vile offenders, but are also the first to suggest reducing the population...

      RoyoF - 2011-07-26 16:51

      @flyswat ..naaah i really like it when my neighbours dogs howl at Guy Fawkes as I let loose with rockets of note and the days when i feel animosity to the V8 drivers and their slobbering backseat hounds and detonate large black firecrackers in their postboxs and at the feet of the pooping dogz .Or spraying water on a day like today at noisy poochs like you .

  • justme...again - 2011-07-26 10:37

    Anyone know of any snow in the Western Cape? Maybe Ceres or surrounds? Would love to take the kids!

  • WebUp - 2011-07-26 10:44

    Incredible to see!

  • Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 10:45

    No snow in JHB... just cold. The roads are fine to drive on, except that there seem to be more of the usual idiot drivers out today.

      InternetMan - 2011-07-26 11:59

      How very christian of you. You think Jesus ever called someone an idiot?

      Susannomore - 2011-07-26 12:22

      Matt - Agreed 100%. You sort of get the feeling that they are rushing towards any possible ice on the road, as recklessly as possible. In my eyes, they were trained, prior to writing their licenses, have experiance and still ignore the risks - Idoits!

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 12:32

      @ InternetMan - do you drive in JHB daily? Do you have to slam the brakes because someone pulls out in front of you without looking? Or the "luxury German cars" that don't indicate and squeeze into the tiniest of spaces while others have to avoid hitting them? Or be careful at robots because at least 2 cars drive through red almost every time? Slam the brakes yet again because a car's trying to cross a busy road while traffic's hurtling at them? Whole traffic jams caused by idiots who put on their hazards and stop in the middle of the road to chat on their phones? Every day I have to avoid at least one potential crash here! Yesterday the car in front of me slammed the brakes for no apparent reason so I had to as well; also, a car turned into a stream of traffic without caring that a long queue of traffic was moving, without indicating. I've driven in Durban and JHB and honestly, I'm disgusted how people drive in JHB - often extremely selfish and willing to cause a crash just so they can get home 1 minute earlier! I'm convinced that to get a driving license in JHB, all you have to do is collect 2 sweet wrappers and SMS the barcodes to a number... BTW - Jesus often referred to people as fools, when appropriate.

      TerraFic - 2011-07-26 12:43

      @InternetMan: No, but i'm sure he's been called an idiot soewhere along the line...

      twixy - 2011-07-26 13:25

      @InternetMan: Erm, ok - is that really necessary?

      flyswat - 2011-07-26 14:23

      InternetIdiot, did you know that religion is at the centre of all evil (wars in particular), Christianity included. When people ask me, "Are you Christian?" I say, "Hellll no! I'm not a hypocrate!"

      Frankie Knuckles - 2011-07-26 14:53

      I have a thoery, that should aliens ever visit earth and want to know why our species has so many problems, all they ahve to do is observe drivers in JHB. More specifically, drivers in JHB at a busy intersection with non functioning traffic lights. There, they will witness humanity at it's finest.

      Frankie Knuckles - 2011-07-26 14:54


      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 15:01

      @ flyswat - funny. Last night I read about missionaries in Iron Curtain Bulgaria. It used to be Communist, of which atheism is a critical pillar. For decades it had strict enforcement of atheism. Anybody caught gathering in Jesus's name was jailed and sometimes shot. The Bible was strictly banned and the punishment for reading or owning one was jail or execution. Having any "dealings" with Westerners (i.e. receiving Bibles from missionaries) equally punishable. Other Eastern European states during Communism had the exact same rules, but Bulgaria was just more strict apparently. Albania as well. Atheism was the state religion of those countries. And once the Communists were ousted, the populations flocked to religion. Just in case you were ever wondering what it would be like to have a country without religion...

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 15:02

      And so we revert to the usual topics - religion, Malema, ANC... eish sorry! 15:00 and the sun appears to be shining in the Northern Suburbs... where's our snow?

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 16:23

      @ Frankie Knuckles - to be fair, they're not bad in JHB with 4-way stops. Although there are occasionally exceptions - like at Queens Street in Kensington (where the robots are often not working for weeks on end)... Oh yeah, don't forget when it's really busy and cars decide it's perfectly acceptable to fill up the intersection, so when the lights change the others can't move as a result... I'm looking at you, drivers on Rivonia Road ;-)

  • MegaTesla - 2011-07-26 10:55

    "Beaufort West and Victoria West in the Eastern Cape" Uhm...

  • Zithelo - 2011-07-26 11:07

    Climate change

      Robbie - 2011-07-26 11:27

      yes... colder than the models predict... must be the data they ommitted.

      Wessel - 2011-07-26 11:33

      This is just winter every year the same.

  • Robbie - 2011-07-26 11:30

    Some news 24 pictures were nicked from Facebook users... Lotz is a picture thief methinks.

      Maggie Verster - 2011-07-28 00:51

      Jip Johan Lotz stole the pictures from my Hogsback facebook page. When you upload pictures to news 24 you have to say if it is yours or if you have permission to upload it from the owner. Nobody asked me...wonder what I should do about it?

  • Matadoress - 2011-07-26 11:49

    I bet you the ANC or Malema has something to do with this

      tryanything - 2011-07-26 12:54

      Hope that they put it out to tender..

  • SA-FAN - 2011-07-26 13:04

    Blah blah blah can we just for once in our life forget about the bloody politics and focus on whats happening now. I am 26 now have been in joburg all my life and have never seen snow and i would step out of work if its snows and go play in it, sometime we have to be a child again to appreciate the value of life!!! For those fortunate people who see the snow enjoy it while it last because in our country its a privilege!

  • HJS - 2011-07-26 13:20

    As far as I can recall neither Beaufort West or Victoria West is in the Eastern Cape? Or did they or the boundaries of the Eastern Cape move since we all last checked?

  • Jenna23 - 2011-07-26 13:20

    "Snow go slow" Tongue twiser.

      logical007 - 2011-07-26 14:10

      South Africa has been on a go slow for 17 years - not only when it snows?? Is it feasible that we go any slower????????

  • Rob - 2011-07-26 13:22

    This cold weather is a result of global warming. winter gets cooler and summer gets hotter. Global warming can trigger off an ice age in winter.

      flyswat - 2011-07-26 14:28

      OMG, Rob!!! Humans have only been documenting the earth's climate for a leeeetle teeeny tiny fraction of its existance. Do you really think the world is going to let us leeetle teeeny tiny people get the better of it? I dont think so. Look what happened to the pre-historics! The real problem, Rob, is overpopulation and not all this stupid hoohaa about friggen "global warming" and "climate change" crap. Do some culling and things will change DOH!

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 15:03

      @ flyswat - "Do some culling and things will change" OK, you first :-)

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 15:04

      @ Rob "Global warming can trigger off an ice age in winter." Yes, you know this for sure because you were there when it last happened... lol

  • Barry - 2011-07-26 15:48

    Thought South Africa was permanently on a go slow.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-26 16:24

      On the up side, I haven't worn a watch once since coming to SA (sorry Michelle, who linked this story on her FB and with whom I used to work, they bought me a watch as a going away present)... in Holland you'd practically give yourself a coronary from living by your watch. Sometimes "go slow" is fine...

  • pages:
  • 1