In an unprecedented decision, all schools in the Western Cape will be closed on Wednesday following repeated warnings of adverse weather conditions in the province.
The South African Weather Service issued a severe weather warning for flash flooding, hail, and gale force winds in the Western Cape on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
High wind speeds of up to 90km/h or higher are possible, with rainfall of up to 50mm within 24 hours in certain areas.
In a statement on Tuesday, Western Cape education department head Brian Schreuder said the decision was taken in the best interests of pupil and teacher safety.
"The storm may damage some schools, which could place learners and staff at risk, as well as those who commute to school, especially in rural areas," he said.
The South African Weather Service had informed the education department that weather conditions would abate on Thursday, Schreuder said.
"We will be working with schools to ensure that the programme returns to normal [on Thursday] and we request their understanding and cooperation in the circumstances," he said.
Principals can report any storm damage to schools to the Safe Schools Call Centre at 0800 45 46 47.
"We appreciate the concern and co-operation of our principals and will work closely with schools to deal with issues resulting from the storm," Schreuder said.