- A heatwave is expected to affect the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State this week.
- Temperatures are expected to soar into the 40s in some areas.
- Hot conditions may persist into the weekend for some provinces.
A heatwave has been forecast for four provinces, with temperatures expected to soar above 40°C in some parts.
The South African Weather Services (SAWS) said the heatwave would affect the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State.
The municipalities at the heart of the heatwave are the Khâi-Ma Municipality (which includes Pofadder), the Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality in the Northern Cape, as well as the Central Karoo and the Little Karoo municipalities in the Western Cape.
In the Eastern Cape, the Sarah Baartman and Amatole district municipalities will be affected, along with the Inxuba Yethemba municipality.
Hot conditions are expected for the Mangaung and Gariep municipalities in the Free State.
SAWS forecaster Mbavhi Maliage said the high temperatures had been driven by a persistent upper-air high-pressure system that has caused temperatures to increase gradually to heatwave level.
Maliage added that the heatwave was likely to last until at least Friday. She said that it might continue into the weekend, despite a forecast of isolated rainfall for the provinces.
The hot conditions will bring soaring temperatures, with Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape predicted to reach 40°C on Wednesday. Beaufort West will climb to 38°C and Robertson will reach a high of 36°C.
In the Northern Cape, Upington will peak at 41°C, while Calvinia will reach 37°C. Springbok and De Aar can both expect 36°C.
The Eastern Cape will see Graaff-Reinet reaching a high of 40°C. Cradock will peak at 39°C, Komani at 36°C, and Qonce at 35°C.
In the Free State, Bloemfontein is expected to reach 35°C.
According to a SAWS advisory, when temperatures are extremely high, our ability to cool our bodies through sweating is reduced. This can lead to dehydration and heat stroke.
Maliage advised those in areas affected by the heatwave to avoid going into the sun, especially between 12:00 and 15:00. She said people should also avoid strenuous activities and working outside.
Keeping hydrated, wearing light clothes, and avoiding alcohol were also important, she added.
She said that anyone experiencing prolonged feelings of faintness or illness should seek medical attention.