Aug 07, 2012
Van Reenen's pass closed, snow falls in GautengBack
Johannesburg|Queenstown|Vereeniging|Airports Company SA|N3 Toll Concession Limited|Road|Roads|SA National Parks|OR Tambo International Airport|Airline|Service|Eastern Cape|Madeira Mountain|Andy Visser|Charlotte Meyer|Gerrit Potgieter|Jan Vermeulen|Laetitia Van Den Heever|Lynne Minnaar|Tshepo Machaea|Unathi Batyashe-Filli|Eastern Cape
Spokeswoman Andy Visser said heavy snowfall in the early afternoon forced authorities to close the road again.
It was briefly reopened just before noon, after being closed in the morning due to the treacherous driving conditions associated with the winter flurry.
Visser said it had snowed along the N3 from Harrismith to Hilton, outside Pietermaritzburg.
Arrive Alive spokesman Tshepo Machaea said a number of roads in the Eastern Cape had been closed because of significant snowfall.
These included the R61 between Graaff-Reinet and Cradock, the N9 between Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg, the R58 in the region of Barkly East, and the R68 between Barkly East and Lady Grey.
Roads around Matatiele and Kokstad were also affected by heavy snowfalls, Machaea said. He appealed to motorists to respect the rules of the road and to exercise extreme caution.
Airports Company SA spokeswoman Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said there had been snow at OR Tambo International Airport, but that it had not been heavy enough to affect flights by midday.
"There is currently no word that flights have been reduced, but each airline makes their own call on this."
In the Free State, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, operated by SA National Parks, had its heaviest snowfalls in six years. Hotel manager Gerrit Potgieter described the snow as "really thick" and said more was falling.
On social networks, South Africans posted photographs and text updates of snow around the country. In Johannesburg's CBD, people flocked onto the streets to see the snowflakes whirling between the tall buildings.
Earlier, Lynne Minnaar, owner of the Groenvlei Farm Guest House in Graaff-Reinet, said her lawn was dusted with snow on Tuesday morning.
She said she had received more bookings than usual as a result of the snow, and was hoping the white blanket would last until the weekend for the benefit of her guests.
Charlotte Meyer, the owner of the 26 on Chamberlain guest house in Queenstown, said snow had fallen there on Monday, and was still visible on the nearby Madeira Mountain.
She said snow fell in the area last year, but that prior to this there had been no snow for 41 years.
Residents of Vanderbijlpark, in southern Gauteng, awoke to discover a sprinkling of snow. It generally snowed in the area once every five or six years, said Pomegranate Bed and Breakfast owner Laetitia van den Heever, who described the scene as "just lovely".
"[The snow] has settled lightly on the plants. It's beautiful, it looks like Christmas."
Van den Heever said by 8am it was "snowing again in earnest".
SA Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen said there were heavy clouds over Vereeniging on Tuesday morning, and a chance of light snow had been predicted over southern Gauteng.
There had also been reports of snowfalls in Bethlehem and Clarens in the Free State.
Parts of the Western Cape also experienced snowfall, and heavy falls were expected along the south-eastern coast.
Vermeulen said there would be a brief reprieve from the freezing conditions from Wednesday, but on Friday another cold front would hit the country from the south west, bringing a fresh wave of icy weather.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 45 minutes ago National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) full-time member for electricity Thembani Bukula says the regulator is not anticipating an approach by Eskom for a “re-opener” of the current tariff determination, notwithstanding National Treasury’s indication that...
Updated 1 hour 47 minutes ago Leading South African aerospace company Aerosud Holdings announced on Wednesday that it had formed a strategic alliance with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). As a consequence, the IDC has taken a 26% shareholding in Aerosud Holdings. Aerosud Holdings has...
Updated 2 hours ago Eskom had failed to comply with a High Court order that it hand over documents related to the awarding of a R4 billion tender to Areva NP Proprietary, Westinghouse Electric Company said on Tuesday. "It is Westinghouse's view that Eskom has failed to comply with this...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...