The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department has urged all pupils who were not writing matric or Grade 11 exams to stay at home on Friday owing to safety concerns following severe storms in the area.
According to Times Live, department head Enock Nzama said on Thursday night that this was because of forecasts of "bad weather conditions" and was made "in the interest of safety".
A memorandum from the department reportedly said matrics writing their final exams should attend school, as should Grade 11 pupils.
"All other grades are suspended for the day. Schools are requested to make the necessary adjustments to their internal timetables for the rest of the other grades," the memo reads, Daily News reported.
On Thursday, the department instructed schools to allow pupils to leave early after predictions of more bad weather, News24 reported.
The province is bracing itself for more inclement weather which will bring severe thunderstorms over the next few days.
Since October, KwaZulu-Natal has experienced extreme weather conditions, including severe thunderstorms, lightning strikes, gale-force winds and heavy downpours that have wreaked havoc across the province.
A severe thunderstorm produced a tornado near New Hanover on Tuesday.
At least two people were killed and 20 injured in the storm, which the SA Weather Service (SAWS) was investigating to determine the tornado's strength in relation to the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale.
Another three people were killed due to heavy storm conditions on Monday. On Wednesday, the body of a 7-year-old boy - who was swept off the Soweto bridge in Darnall, KwaZulu-Natal, while walking from school on Tuesday - was found.
- Compiled by Riaan Grobler