The heatwave that has gripped various parts of the country over the last few days, is expected to break on Tuesday, but there is a warning that it might extend to towards the end of this week, the South African Weather Services warned on Sunday.
Speaking to The Citizen, senior forecaster, Venetia Phakula said the forecast for this week, will only be reviewed either today or tomorrow. Provinces that have been affected by the heatwave, include Gauteng, northern Free State, North West and the western bushveld of Limpopo. The province which is expected to experience the hottest weather conditions, is Limpopo, according to Phakulua.
Thabazimbi is set to reach scorching highs of 42 degrees celsius, while Lephalale and Tzaneen will peak at 40 and 39 degrees celsius, respectively. Elsewhere in Mpumalanga, Skhukhuza is expected to reach highs of 40 degrees celsius. In terms of rainfall, Phakula said the chances will be limited to 30% today over Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, North West, Mpumalanga except for Limpopo.
Similar patterns can be expected tomorrow. “However, the chances are likely to increase on Thursday, Christmas day, going into the weekend,” Phakula added.
Eskom said it was prepared for the hot weather conditions forecast for this week. Despite the hot conditions experienced already over the weekend, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the system remained relatively stable, as has been the case over the last four months, wherein load shedding was only implemented for a period of two hours and 20 minutes.
“At the moment as things stand, there is nothing that warrants us to be worried and we are also planning to continue with our summer maintenance festival,” he said. In regard to the maintenance issue, the plan is to take offline a total of 8000mw and so far 5000mw has already been taken off.
“We expect to bring those generating units back online just before the second week of January, when many people are expected to return back to their respective work places. “Some units could be out for weeks or months, but some could be offline for days,” Phasiwe said.