KZN motorists warned to be extra vigilant as stormy weather goes on
With temperatures dipping to -2 degrees along the Drakensberg on Tuesday night — and more bad weather expected into the weekend — the KwaZulu-Natal transport head has called on motorists to be extra vigilant after extensive weather damage.
Transport MEC Peggy Nkonyeni said her department will be quantifying the extent of damage caused by the snowfall and heavy rains, which occurred mainly in the Drakensberg, Kokstad, Van Reenen's Pass and Nquthu. She said many roads and bridges in the province have been affected by the heavy rain, resulting in some roads being closed due to flooding and poor visibility.
“We have received reports that some roads and bridges in district municipalities such as Ugu, parts of uMkhanyakude, eastern King Cetshwayo and eastern Zululand have been flooded. A team will be dispatched to assess if there is any damage to transport infrastructure once the heavy rains subside, and they will put together a report on how the department can intervene,” she said.
She said the department also had teams on 24-hour standby, and the Road Traffic Inspectorate is diverting traffic in areas where roads and bridges have been flooded, especially in low-lying areas.
“So far no serious car crashes resulting in multiple fatalities on our roads have been reported on major roads such as the N2 and N3. However, we appeal to motorists and pedestrians to continue to exercise extreme caution and call upon all road users to adhere to the rules of the road and be patient with other road users,” concluded MEC Nkonyeni.
Earlier on, the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) department urged residents living in the vicinity and surrounding areas to postpone unnecessary trips because of poor driving conditions.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka appealed to residents “to exercise extreme caution after the warnings of inclement weather expected to start on Tuesday and continue into the weekend”.