The Chill Arrives: Winter Sweeps Gauteng
As the winter chill starts to grip Gauteng, residents are being urged to bundle up with their warmest blankets. Gauteng Weather has forecasted near-freezing temperatures in Johannesburg, kicking off a winter season that promises to be particularly icy.
The weather service sent out a chilling warning this past Saturday night. It alerted residents to brace for the incoming cold weather conditions, tweeting, “Near freezing temperatures in Gauteng overnight.”
A Deep Freeze Sets In
The Johannesburg temperature is expected to nosedive to 3°C, while Pretoria seems to fare slightly better with a low of 5°C. Vereeniging might find itself on the frosty side of the thermometer with a low of just 1°C.
Emergency Services on High Alert
With the mercury falling across Johannesburg, the city’s emergency services are imploring residents to exercise caution when utilizing heating appliances. Robert Mulaudzi of Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) expressed concern about the impending cold weather, confirming that the EMS is prepared for potential incidents.
He urged residents to be vigilant, stating, “It’s extremely cold in most parts of Johannesburg. We urge residents to handle heating devices carefully when trying to warm themselves. All heating devices, including heaters, imbawula, paraffin stoves, and candles, should be used safely and never left unattended to prevent fires during these frosty temperatures.”
Load Shedding: An Icy Problem
The cold snap could add additional strain to the beleaguered electricity grid. Calib Cassim, acting CEO of Eskom, recently warned of a challenging winter for South Africa with potential stage 8 load shedding during the colder months.
During a media briefing focused on the winter outlook and Eskom’s operational performance, Cassim revealed that Eskom has 3,000MW less power this winter than the previous year. He cautioned, “If our planned interventions do not achieve the desired outcomes and unplanned outages reach levels of 18,000MW, the likelihood of stage 8 load shedding during peaks is extremely high.”
A Frosty Outlook
Earlier, Eskom board chair Mpho Makwana warned that forecasts predict colder weeks ahead, which will undoubtedly increase the demand for electricity. He acknowledged the adverse impact on South Africa’s already fragile economy, stating, “We are doing everything to mitigate the intensity of rotational load shedding, including learning from the experiences of other countries.”
As the winter chill sets in, Gauteng finds itself wrestling not only with near-freezing temperatures but also an electricity crisis that threatens to leave residents out in the cold.