Snow closes Van Reenen's Pass

2012-08-07 12:01

Johannesburg - The N3 was closed on Van Reenen's Pass from Harrismith to the Tugela toll plaza on Tuesday due to snowfalls, the N3 Toll Concession Limited said.

"A few people are stuck on the pass, and authorities are working to get them to safety," spokesperson Andy Visser said.

No accidents were reported on the pass by mid-morning, and Visser attributed this to the speedy response to the extreme weather by the Ladysmith Road Traffic Inspectorate.


While snow had fallen all the way from Harrismith to Hilton, outside Pietermaritzburg along the N3, it was only thick enough on Van Reenen's Pass to warrant road closure.

The N11, via Villiers and Ladysmith, was the only viable alternative route as the R74 was also closed as a precaution.

Visser said people were advised not to travel "unless absolutely necessary".

Parts of the Eastern Cape were also covered in snow.

Lynne Minnaar, owner of the Groenvlei Farm Guest House in Graaff-Reinet, said her lawn was dusted with snow on Tuesday morning. She said she had received more bookings than usual as a result of the snow, and was hoping it would last until the weekend for the benefit of her guests.

Charlotte Meyer, owner of 26 on Chamberlain guest house in Queenstown, said snow had fallen there on Monday, and was still visible on the nearby Madeira Mountain.

She said snow had also fallen in the area last year, but prior to this there had been no snow for 41 years.

Earlier, residents of Vanderbijlpark, in southern Gauteng, woke to discover a sprinkling of snow.

It generally snowed in the area once every five or six years, said Pomegranate Bed and Breakfast owner Laetitia van den Heever, who described the scene as "just lovely".

"[The snow] has settled lightly on the plants. It's beautiful, it looks like Christmas."

Van den Heever said by 08:00 it was "snowing again in earnest".


SA Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen said there were heavy clouds over Vereeniging on Tuesday morning, and a chance of light snow had been predicted over southern Gauteng.

There had also been reports of snowfalls in Bethlehem and Clarens in the Free State.

Parts of the Western also Cape experienced snowfall, and heavy falls were expected along the south-eastern coast.

Vermeulen said there would be a brief reprieve from the freezing conditions from Wednesday, but on Friday another cold front would hit the country from the south west, bringing a fresh wave of icy weather.

- Are you experiencing snow and cold? Send us your pictures.

  • chris.debeer1 - 2012-08-07 12:04

    Wish i was there!!!

      sean.carbutt - 2012-08-07 12:28

      it's even snowing in JHB CBD, first time since 1981. This is proper snow, not the normal sleet stuff. Break out the blankies and OBS

      jowza1 - 2012-08-07 13:22

      my shipment of durban poison delayed again

      freddie.miff - 2012-08-07 14:10

      It is snowing in Norwood with snow on the ground and light falls around Fourways.

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-08-08 10:43

      Snow has fallen and Limpopo still does not have textbooks

  • boffin.bobreturns - 2012-08-07 12:21

    Snow just makes everything look so white and clean. I wish we had more days of snow in the wintertime.

  • Gavin - 2012-08-07 12:27

    we just had some snow/sleet/dandruff in sandton - it's amazing !

  • claire.sternberg.9 - 2012-08-07 12:41

    snowing here in Johannesburg, Denver... AWESOME

  • - 2012-08-07 12:52

    Snowing in Lonehill, close to Fourways!

  • andy.goeieman.5 - 2012-08-07 13:00

    hi is it true just heard the ANC has declared a state of emergency in south Africa apparently the country is turning white again.

  • walter.lebza - 2012-08-07 13:02

    Amazing, its snowing in pretoria.

  • david.kuhn.5439 - 2012-08-07 13:05

    I lived in Queenstown and remember snow 10 years ago, not the alledged 41 years. Please reporters dont take peoples work as gospel. use facts and records.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-07 14:24

      I live in Queenstown. 10 years ago snow only settled on the mountains. Last year and this year the snow was actually lying fairly deep on the ground in town. So, the people who reported that it snowed in town last in the 70's are correct

  • kaybeeforever - 2012-08-07 13:11

    Centurion also..... i here its a first in Pta since 1926

      jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-08-07 13:13

      Also just saw the snow in Centurion. Pretty cool.

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-08-07 14:20

      And if and ANC member said it is snowing outside, I bet a DA will oppose it and say what do they know about snow

  • John - 2012-08-07 13:13

    So much for Global warming.....this is proof again that the world is actually getting colder not warmer bar the thieves that want to impose the carbon tax out of sheer greed......

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-08-07 13:18

    Witblits! Even the weather is conspiring against the anc! Nature starting a springclean!

  • Skhumbuzo Philile Msimango Kubheka - 2012-08-07 13:25

    is it safe enough to drive frm Newcastle to jhb? tomorrow n

  • jackie.stone.501 - 2012-08-07 13:34

    ...and DA will blame it on the ANC or ANCYL

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-07 14:20

      What? Really? How dya figure?

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-08-07 15:47

      @Johan do you write or speak any English.

  • merly.hamisi - 2012-08-07 13:50

    Snowing in Pretoria North!!!!!so excited

  • almartb - 2012-08-07 14:10

    Snow in Rustenburg also!!

  • marianne.klint.taylor - 2012-08-07 14:28

    light snow is falling in Northcliff and Fairlands, Johannesburg.

  • mo.haarhoff - 2012-08-07 19:57

    Snow covers up all the litter, rotting plastic bags and sewerage lying in the streets. Take a good, long look. This is what rubbish bins could make your areas look like. When snow melts, they'll look even worse than usual.

  • megan.sharland - 2012-08-08 13:26

    Is there anyone we can contact to find out if the pass is open again?

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