Africa-Press – South-Africa. Parts of the Eastern Cape has been transformed into a winter wonderland, with snow covering the Drakensberg and parts of Molteno, Barkley East, Matatiele, and Lady Grey.
Residents in these areas have been waking up to snow-covered gardens, homes, lawns, and roads due to the cold weather.
The areas, lying south of the Drakensberg, are notorious for showing off their winter coat during this time of the year and are a must-visit for people who want to create magical memories with their families or friends.
The South African Weather Service said heavy snow fell over the Senqu and Elundini local municipalities in the early hours of Thursday, while lighter snow fell over parts of the Molteno, Emalahleni and Sakhisizwe local municipalities.
Pictures of Barkley East transformed by the snow have gone viral on social media.
While the SA Weather Service had warned of a possibility of the snow blocking roads and mountain passes, the Eastern Cape transport department has given the green light to motorists and holidaymakers to use the roads.
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Department spokesperson Unathi Binqose said the roads were still usable but cautioned motorists to drive carefully as the snow had made the road surface slippery.
At least one vehicle, a minibus taxi, veered off the road on the R58 outside Barkley East on Thursday.
No one was injured.
“There are no road closures at the moment, however, the road remains slippery, therefore we are calling on motorists to approach that stretch of road with extreme caution,” said Binqose.
He added traffic authorities were on high alert and keeping a close eye on other roads and mountain passes.
Snow measuring between two and 10cm fell in Barkley East on Thursday morning, said forecaster Lelo Kleinbooi.
Fine weather is predicted for the province over the weekend with frost in the morning and an increase in daytime temperatures for the next three days.
Coastal areas of the Eastern Cape are currently experiencing windy conditions with choppy seas.
The SA Weather Services had earlier also issued a warning for farmers about possible loss of livestock due to the cold.
But Agri Eastern Cape CEO Brent McNamara said: “Most of the farmers were prepared and sheltered vulnerable animals.”
He added extreme weather conditions on occasions were part of the challenges faced by farmers.
“Fortunately, timely weather alerts are available to assist farmers in taking the necessary precautions.
“To date, we have not received any reports of significant livestock losses due to the current adverse weather, which indicates that farmers by in large are taking the necessary precautions,” said McNamara.
Eastern Cape Tourism added more areas in the northern parts of the province were expected to experience icy conditions on Friday.
“Let’s savour the magic of this rare event and share in the joy of these captivating moments”, it said, urging holidaymakers to take advantage of the snow and visit the province.