Residents urged to exercise extreme caution as winter rain and snow falls in KZN

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Snow has been falling at the Afrski Mountain Resort since early on Tiesday morning.
Snow has been falling at the Afrski Mountain Resort since early on Tiesday morning.
Rueben Storbeck/Afriski

With cold, wet conditions hitting KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, the KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has urged residents to exercise extreme caution on the roads.

The South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a warning on Monday that significant snowfall was expected in the Drakensberg Mountains and  surrounding areas, including Kokstad and Underberg.

The snow could potentially lead to road closures and the risk of motorists being stranded.

The Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho said snow started falling at around 5.30 am on Tuesday, creating a road hazard for vehicles wanting to travel to the Mountain Kingdom. Roads into Lesotho are closed to 2x4 vehicles and even those travelling in 4x4s are urged to be careful.

The high mountains in the 'Berg are also covered with snow, while rain has fallen in Pietermaritzburg and the KZN Midlands. 

Hlomuka urged residents to carefully plan their trips and to keep a close eye on the weather conditions.

"We are appealing to all communities in the areas that are expected to receive significant snowfall to be vigilant and to postpone any unnecessary trips," he added.

His warning about heavy rain was, he added, especially for those living in uMkhanyakude, eastern Zululand and the eastern part of King Cetshwayo district.

The cold, wintery weather is likely to extend to the northern parts of the province, where the risk of localised flooding will be high.

Disaster management teams are on alert across the province and will be monitoring all major routes and areas that are prone to flooding.

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