Western Cape environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell said the hot weather presented two risks to manage.
“First, we need to plan accordingly to stay out of the sun, and preferably not embark on long outdoor activities or exercise during the heat of the day. People should be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” he said on Friday.
“Babies and the elderly are particularly at risk, as well as people using chronic medication. They need to drink extra water during heatwaves to ensure their kidneys are not further stressed.”
Bredell said high temperatures also increased the risk of fires, and he urged the public to be careful with open fires.
“We are in the Western Cape fire season. If you are making a fire, never leave it unattended, and make sure it is completely extinguished when departing from your activities.”
He said the provincial disaster management centre was on high alert for fire or rescue missions due to the heat.
Cape Town disaster risk management spokesperson Chantel Alexander urged residents to stay hydrated, keep out of direct sun as far as possible, and be extremely cautious with flammable materials like cigarette butts and braai fires.
“High temperatures also tend to drive people to the beach and swimming pools, and we remind the public to swim only in designated areas and not to consume alcohol on beaches,” she said.
Alexander said emergency and distress calls could be reported to the city’s public emergency communication centre by dialling 021-480-7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.