18 January 2013

South Africa: Heavy Rains Expected Ahead of Afcon

Pretoria — The South African Weather Service has advised the public that there is a high likelihood of widespread heavy rains in six of the country's provinces at the weekend which coincides with the opening of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

Widespread heavy rains are expected over the North West, Gauteng, eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga starting on Friday and expected to continue up to Sunday.

"These heavy rains will be caused by an intense low pressure moving in from Botswana," said the weather service.

The Afcon tournament kicks off tomorrow with an opening ceremony when Bafana Bafana take on Cape Verde at the National Stadium in Johannesburg.

"These heavy rains are also likely to have a serious impact on the opening day of the Afcon football tournament starting on Saturday."

The danger of flash-flooding should be kept in mind with Mpumalanga and Limpopo running the highest risk for flooding over the weekend.

"The public are therefore urged not to try to cross rivers and streams that are in flood, irrespective of whether they are on foot or in a vehicle. People living in areas close to rivers or within flood plains must also monitor the rising water levels."

Neighbouring countries Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and southern Mozambique will also be affected by these adverse weather conditions.

On Thursday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) jointly with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) assured soccer fans that will be coming to the country for the tournament that they will be protected from the moment they arrive at the country's ports of entry.

No roads leading to the National Stadium will be accessible to motorists without a valid vehicle pass ahead of the opening of Afcon.

Gates at the stadium will open at midday with fans encouraged to make use of the park and ride facilities situated at:

- Constitutional Hill, Joubert Street in Braamfontein

- Westgate, corner Pat Mbatha and Anderson Street in the Johannesburg CBD

- Metro Centre, no 158, Loveday Street in Braamfontein

- Thuso House no 61 Jorrison street in Braamfontein.

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