Winter warning: Joburg EMS urges caution as ‘freezing’ conditions persist

The City of Johannesburg is encouraging residents to be extra careful as there is an increased risk of heating-related home fires during the winter months. Since the country is in the grip of a prolonged cold spell, the City and its Emergency Medical Services renewed its call for vigilance.


The City of Johannesburg wants people to keep their loved ones and home safe by being careful while using electrical appliances, candles, paraffin stoves, imbaula and open fires to keep warm this winter.

“The risk of heating-related home fires increases in winter,” said City of Joburg EMS.

“As temperatures continue to drop and freezing conditions remain tonight [Wednesday, 2 June], we urge City of Joburg residents to turn heaters off when leaving a room and keep anything flammable away from heating equipment.”

This is the second such warning from the EMS in a matter of weeks – on the weekend of Friday, 21 May, when the region was also in the grip of a frigid spell; EMS spokesperson Robert Mudlauzi made a point of asking informal settlement residents to be especially careful.

The City’s warning may seem repetitive but it is necessary, as unattended heating devices have led to several fires that resulted in destruction of property and loss of life over the years.


The cold front, which hit the country at the start of the week, was predicted to bring the coldest temperatures of 2021 to Gauteng and it delivered, according to Gauteng Weather.

“Overnight temperatures officially dropped to their lowest so far in 2021 last night,” said the regional weather forecaster on Wednesday morning. Later on Wednesday, the forecaster warned residents that it would be very cold and frost was expected in parts of the province overnight.

The temperatures recorded in Vereeniging, Johannesburg and Pretoria was 0, 1 and 3°C, respectively.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) said the cold and adverse weather conditions would last well into the coming weekend, in a statement on Monday. Snow was predicted in at least three provinces, which has also come to fruition.

WATCH: Snow covers the ground in the Eastern Cape with more expected


Presh JM Reporter

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