South Africans warned to brace for sweltering heat

JOHANNESBURG - More heatwaves are coming because of climate change.

Already, there have been big changes in South Africa's weather patterns over the last 50 years.

South Africans are being warned to brace themselves for sweltering heat.

READ: Temperatures to soar as heatwave hits Gauteng

Temperatures are expected to reach 37 degrees in Gauteng.

The North West and Limpopo will also not be spared.

It comes at a time when Eskom is battling to keep the lights on, asking people to switch off pool pumps and air conditioners.

READ: July heatwave up to 3C hotter due to climate change

Paramedics are urging people to drink liquids and remain indoors between 11am and 2pm.

One health professional also warned of the risks the heat brings for cancer patients.

Here are some tips to protect yourself against the heatwave:

  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Use sun protection lotion when you work or play outdoors.
  • Protect the eyes from direct sunlight by wearing sunglasses or a hat with a peak.
  • Take enough water or other fluids during the day.
  • All elective sporting activities or physical exertion should be cancelled in the midst of a heatwave;
  • Make sure that animals have clean and sufficient water.
  • If you are in a swimming pool or other open water, use a sunblock as water attracts UV rays which causes severe burns that will only be visible later the day.
  • Monitor someone with symptoms of heat exhaustion closely to ensure they do not lose consciousness or seizures, which could be fatal.
  • Drink water that is at room temperature, rather than ice-cold fluids.