Johannesburg temperature hits record high as South Africa drought persists

A women carries her belongings on her head as she walks past a Barclays logo in Johannesburg December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s financial hub Johannesburg hit a record temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the South African Weather Service said, as a drought persisted in Africa’s largest producer of maize.

The previous record of 36.5 degrees Celsius was recorded in November 2015, the weather service said.

Temperatures in the capital Pretoria scaled a new high of 42.5 degrees Celsius, from a previous record of 41, with the latest rolling heat wave to scorch South Africa expected to last until Friday.

South Africa may need to import as much as 5 million tonnes of maize this year, roughly half of its requirements, because of its worst drought in three decades, the country’s largest producer group said on Wednesday.

Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by James Macharia