- Thunderstorms have been forecast for parts of the Western Cape and Gauteng over the long weekend.
- The storms are likely to affect the central and southern parts of the Western Cape.
- The SA Weather Service says Gauteng residents can expect heavy rain and thunder showers on Thursday.
An orange level 6 warning has been issued for parts of the Western Cape this weekend, as widespread showers and thundershowers are forecast by the South African Weather Service for much of the province.
The bulk of the storms is expected over the central and southern parts of the province.
Residents can expect heavy downpours of 20-30mm per hour, along with strong and gusty winds, lightning and small hail between Friday and Saturday.
The heavy downpours may lead to flooding and damage to homes and infrastructure, according to the weather service.
The warning comes after the province was lashed by heavy rain at the start of the week.
The rain caused flooding in parts of Cape Town – and roads in Dunoon, Somerset West, Gordon’s Bay, Strand and Muizenberg were affected.
Around 50 homes were flooded in informal settlements in Masiphumelele, while 50 homes were flooded in the farming town of De Doorns, with widespread damage caused to farms and residential areas.
Western Cape disaster management teams have remained on high alert.
Local Government and Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell said mopping-up operations were progressing well in all the affected municipalities following the severe weather earlier this week.
According to Bredell, the focus has shifted to the next bout of severe weather expected to affect the province from Friday.
Premier Alan Winde urged caution over the long weekend, saying the Western Cape’s roads were likely to see heightened traffic volumes as people leave and arrive in the province.
He said the provincial government would be putting additional standby resources in place to respond where needed.
“We are also concerned that the heightened levels of load shedding and, with the possible severe weather, the situation could be further exacerbated.”
Provincial disaster management put aerial and ground support resources on standby should they be needed, added Bredell.
Meanwhile, heavy downpours and localised flooding have devastated the City of Johannesburg in the past six days,
In Gauteng, 339 people were affected by floods on Friday and Saturday, while 269 structures, including houses and shacks, were swept away.
It appears that residents are not yet in the clear.
More intense rainy conditions are expected this week and possibly the entire December, the weather service warned on Thursday.
A weather forecaster, Lehlohonolo Thabela, said residents should expect heavy rain, thundershowers and showers on Thursday.
He said the heavy rains would result in damaged informal settlements and infrastructure, and more localised flooding on roads and low-lying brides.
According to Thobela, the conditions are expected because it is summer.
However, the downpours could worsen because of the current La Nina period.
This period will see the country experience a summer with above-normal rainfall, Thobela said.
During the past weekend, stormy weather wreaked havoc in several parts of the country, flooding homes and causing walls and roads to collapse.
Previously, New24 reported that Albertina Sisulu Road, between Westlake Road and Fourth Road, in Florida, was closed to traffic.
While no incidents have been reported since Monday, Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have been on high alert, monitoring areas prone to flooding because of the continued rainfall.
Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe said: “It has been really quiet. No incidents were reported since the weekend.
“We have monitored areas, including Alexandra, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Klipspruit, Eldorado Park and so on, because the Jukskei River runs through these areas, and nothing was reported.”
She said the EMS team would be on standby for any incident report.