Saved from an icy death
Survivors of the weekend's worst weather told of their "hair-raising" ordeals before reaching safety. Many feared they would freeze to death.
Hundreds of rural residents and motorists found themselves stranded this weekend as many parts of the country were lashed by wind, rain and snow.
Five people died and nearly 2000 others rescued in Port Elizabeth and its surrounding areas .
Off Road Rescue Unit operations manager Simon McDonnell said it sent a 10-man team to Lesotho, which was hard-hit by sub-zero temperatures.
"We freed 28 [vehicles] trapped on the Monkeng Pass by the heavy snowfall," he said.
McDonnell said vehicles, many already rolled, had stretched for kilometres through the pass, which leads from Butha Buthe to the Afri-Ski resort.
"Some parts of the rescue were hair-raising, especially when we brought the cars down the pass in convoy. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured."
The rescue comes as the National Sea Rescue Institute remained on high alert yesterday as 4m swells moved up the east coast, with the army being roped in to provide assistance to the Western Cape government.
The army is being used to airlift supplies to unreachable towns.
Western Cape MEC for local government, Anton Bredell said heavy snowfalls had cut off 120 people on seven farms in the Beaufort West area.
Colin Deiner, Western Cape provincial disaster management centre head, said relief efforts were a priority - especially in areas such as Beaufort West.
"It is a matter of urgency that supplies reach Beaufort West."
Bredell said the army was also being used to provide emergency medical evacuations.
Cape Town boilermaker Morné Schoeman described his fear of freezing to death after being trapped on a Roadlink bus on the N1 by heavy snow.
With the bus driver unable to use the heater because of the vehicle's low fuel levels, passengers huddled together.
"It will haunt me forever, especially the moans of a woman who recently underwent an operation. Passengers covered her with jackets but she was in so much pain," said Schoeman.
With no food, Schoeman - who was one of 25 men, women and children stuck on the bus - had to wait two days before being rescued.
Arrive Alive yesterday reported that the Eastern Cape roads have finally been reopened.
Arrive Alive spokesman Tshepo Machaea said it was as yet impossible to determine how many accidents had occurred on the road.