Heavy rain on the way


South Africans should keep their umbrellas ready this week as heavy rainfall is expected over large parts of the country.

The South African Weather Service (SAWD) predicts that widespread rain and thunderstorms will occur over the central and eastern parts of the country in the coming few days.

It is expected to rain on Sunday from Richards Bay all along the coast to Cape Town, while areas such as Upington and De Aar in the Northern Cape, as well as Thabazimbi in the North West and Polokwane in Limpopo have a 30% chance of rain.

According to the weather service, Bloemfontein, Bethlehem and Pietermaritzburg have a 60% chance of rain on Sunday.

This severe rain is expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday when these areas have an 80% chance of rain.

In addition to the areas that have an 80% chance of rain, the rest of the country will still experience hot to extreme temperatures amid the rain showers.

The severe weather conditions have already claimed 40 lives in KwaZulu-Natal and left many homeless.

The province’s Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs says two farm workers died when they were struck by lightning in Bergville. About 50 people were also injured by the lightning, and another four people were taken to a hospital where they are currently recovering.

Although the weather service has not issued any weather warnings at this stage, he pointed out that several parts of the country can expect thunderstorms.