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Brace yourselves, the big winter chill is here. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued several weather warnings including snow, very wet, cold and windy conditions for most parts of the country.

With the very windy conditions come extremely high fire conditions over Free State, eastern parts of Northern Cape, western parts of North West Province, Eastern Cape, south-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The SAWS has issued an orange level 8 warning for damaging interior winds leading to structural damage, which is expected over the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, Stellenbosch and western Overberg municipalities (Western Cape).

Arrive Alive reports that the N9 from Graff Reinet to Middelburg over the Lootsbergpass and the R61 from Graaf Reinet to Cradock over Wapadsbergpass are closed for traffic.

Both roads have been closed until further notice due to heavy snowfall.

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell has said her department is on high alert over the next couple of days.

“The forecast is for a gale to strong gale force westerly and north-westerly winds, reaching speeds of between 70 and 90 km/h, with gusts exceeding 100 km/h at times. This could result in widespread structural damage like roofs being blown off, uprooted trees and downed power lines.”

Monday will be Gauteng’s coldest day of the year so far with lows of minus 4 and highs of 9 predicted for some parts.

Image credit: Reuters

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