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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Get your blankets out: Winter is coming as freezing temperatures hit Gauteng

Gauteng Weather warned of the extremely cold weather conditions on Saturday night as winter begins to set in.

Winter is coming and it’s time to get those blankets out as temperatures in Johannesburg are set to reach near freeing point.

Gauteng Weather warned of the extremely cold weather conditions on Saturday night as winter begins to set in.

“Near freezing temperatures in Gauteng overnight.” It tweeted.

Freezing temperatures

According to the regional weather service, the mercury in Johannesburg is expected to dip to 3°C while Pretoria will be slightly higher at 5°C.

Vereeniging will be just slightly above freezing point at 1°C.

Emergency services

With the temperatures plummeting across various parts of the city of Johannesburg, emergency services have urged residents to take extra precautions when using heating appliances to keep warm.

Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) Robert Mulaudzi said they have taken note of the cold weather conditions and are on high alert for any incidents that may occur.

“It’s extremely cold in most parts of the City of Johannesburg. Residents are urged to look after all heating devices as an when they are trying to warm themselves.

“We, therefore, would like to urge all our residents to use all heating devices safely including heaters, imbawula, paraffin stoves and candles, and not to leave them unattended while in use to prevent fires at home during these extremely cold temperatures,” Mulaudzi said.

Load shedding

Meanwhile, the cold weather conditions is likely to add more pressure on the already strained electricity grid.

On Thursday, acting Eskom CEO Calib Cassim warned that it was going to be a difficult winter for South Africa with a possibility of the country hitting stage 8 load shedding during the cold season.

ALSO READ: ‘Stage 8 load shedding likely in winter’ – Eskom

Stage 8

Speaking during a media briefing, on the state of the system and its operational performance with the primary focus on the winter outlook, Cassim said Eskom has 3 000MW less power this winter than it did last winter.

“If the interventions that we have planned for the winter do not achieve the desired outcomes and your unplanned outages reaches levels of 18 000MW, then the likelihood of stage 8 load shedding during peaks is extremely high.”

Bitter winter

Earlier, Eskom board chair Mpho Makwana warned the weather forecast showed much colder weeks ahead which meant the demand of electricity would increase during winter.

“We fully comprehend the adverse impact this has on South Africa’s already fragile economy and its people. We are doing everything to mitigate the intensity of rotational load shedding including taking lessons from the rest of the world,” he said.

ALSO READ: Eskom working on revising load shedding stages up to 16

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