Heavy rainfall and flooding often occur over South Africa. A high percentage of the heavy rainfall events occur over the eastern interior of South Africa and generally during the late summer (January to March) when the influence of tropical weather systems becomes dominant. Research into forecasting techniques best suited for tropical weather systems over southern Africa has been neglected since the early 1970's. The aim of this research was to develop a Model for the Identification of Tropical Weather Systems (MITS) as well as a Tropical Heavy Rainfall Identification System (THERIS) for operational use in the weather forecasting offices of Southern Africa. This study explains the dynamical properties of tropical weather systems and identifies those variables, which favour the development of heavy rainfall. Three case studies are presented to illustrate the dynamical properties of tropical weather systems. THERIS is tested and verified for historical heavy rainfall events over South Africa. The heavy rainfall events of February 2000 over the northern Provinces of South Africa are discussed and both THERIS and MITS are tested for operational functionality. Results indicate that MITS can be used to identify tropical weather systems and that THERIS determines areas of heavy rainfall. It is recommended that the two products be tested and used operationally.