Gauteng residents experienced the coldest night of 2022 on Wednesday when the temperatures dipped a few degrees below the freezing mark.
Earlier this week, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned of a cold front that would hit the province from Cape Town forcing people to get extra blankets to keep warm.
In a tweet, Gauteng Weather shared the breaking news of the coldest night in the province so far for 2022.
“Breaking: coldest night so far in 2022 expected in Gauteng overnight, with first sub-freezing temperatures for central Johannesburg!!! Vereeniging -3°C, Johannesburg -1°C, Pretoria 1°C.”
While many were warm and comfy in their homes surrounded by heating devices and extra blankets, concerns were raised about the homeless and those living in informal settlements to keep warm.
The Joburg EMS said it noted with concern the warning from the Weather Service of the significance drop in temperatures in most parts of the city from Wednesday going into Thursday and added that they would be on high alert.
Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the drop in temperatures means that residents throughout the city will be tempted to use all sorts of heating devices to try and warm themselves against the cold weather and would, in the process, make themselves vulnerable to fire incidents at home.
“We therefore would like to urge all our residents to use all heating devices safely including heaters, imbaula, paraffin stoves ,candles not to leave them unattended while in use to prevent fire incidents at home,” Mulaudzi said.
The SA Weather Service said the cold weather conditions are expected to last at least until the weekend.
A welcome and surprising twist to the freezing temperatures came from the fact that the people over at Megawatt Park showed some mercy and kept the lights on as the grid probably remained strained under the demand for power as heating appliances worked overtime.
The givers and takers of light did issue a warning that load shedding could be implemented at short notice due to the continued shortage of generation capacity which is expected to constrain the system on Tuesday evening and the next few days.
According to a tweet by Eskom spokesperson on Wednesday, the system remains under pressure with a total demand of 32,348MW and an available generation capacity at 31,283MW.
However, South Africans may not mind the below zero freezing temperatures with no loading shedding in sight, but this raises the question about how long that is expected to last.