The Department of Transport and Community Safety in Limpopo is urging motorists to drive with caution.
This is after 15 lives were lost due to road accidents in the province over the weekend amid the intensified 36-Days Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign that was launched by National Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, last week.
The Department Media Liaison Officer, Mike Maringa, says since the country moved to lockdown level 1 the province has seen an escalating number of road fatalities and most of them are caused by speeding.
Maringa says the department’s mandate from Mbalula is to reduce fatalities by 20% this season, but the situation currently doesn’t seem promising.
In the latest incident, four people were killed and one critically injured when the Dawoo Sedan they were travelling in lost control, overturned and caught fire on the R36 road near Merensky outside Tzaneen.
All the occupants in the vehicles were flung out of the car before it caught fire.
Three were certified dead on the scene and the fourth passenger died upon arrival at the hospital.
Mopani and Waterberg districts have the highest number of reported accidents. – Report by Radio Turf’s Tshepo Maeko
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged the leaders and people of Pondoland and the Eastern Cape to support Sanral’s multi-billion rand N2 Wild Coast Road Project.
He was speaking at the handover ceremony of the recently completed rural access roads to the communities of Sigidi and Makwantini in the Alfred Nzo Municipality.
“The N2 Wild Coast Road Project is the economic artery that is going to bring the Eastern Cape alive,” the Minister says.
He adds that it is a strategic project that will provide a national route to improves access to the east coast region of South Africa while reducing road-user costs and optimising safety, comfort and socio-economic benefits.
The Minister says more than 6 000 jobs are expected to be created during the project.
“Development must be community driven – that is why we are involving women and youth from local communities in the building,” Mbalula told community members.
The community of Xolobeni meanwhile surprised some people after gathering in Sigidi to welcome the Minister.
The residents have been at loggerheads with the Department of Mineral Resources over the issuing of mining rights to an Australian company without the community’s consent.
Their peaceful gathering was, however, marred by a heavy police presence, which some South Africans have slated.
The KwaZulu-Natal government says it will work with local municipalities to assist the families of Wednesday’s crash that claimed 16 lives with funeral arrangements and psychosocial services.
The collision took place on the R66 between Melmoth and Ulundi. Authorities say a minibus taxi and a truck collided head-on; the taxi caught alight and burned out, leaving 16 people dead, including a stillborn.
They say three victims from the taxi were burnt beyond recognition and DNA testing will have to be conducted to identify them.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has sent his condolences to friends and families of those who have lost their loved ones in the accident.
“Collectively, as government, the private sector and civil society, we must never tire, until the scourge of rampant road fatalities is eradicated. One life lost is one life too many but death on this scale is an absolute tragedy. I am particularly saddened by the passing of an innocent infant, my heart goes out to the family. We send condolences to the bereaved and vow to work even harder to improve legislation, road infrastructure, visibility of law enforcement and road-user education, in order to put an end to the bloodshed,” he says.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli has called on motorists to be extra cautious on the roads. MEC Ntuli visited the accident scene to inspect the impact of the accident.
“This accident is one of the most gruesome accidents I have ever experienced because 16 people perished, including a pregnant woman who delivered a stillborn infant on the scene. It pains me that families had to lose their loved ones especially during October Transport Month, as we are busy conducting service delivery activities which includes launching high-impact infrastructure projects in various parts of the province that are key in unlocking economic opportunities,” MEC Ntuli said.
Ntuli also conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished the five survivors in hospital a speedy recovery. He has reassured the bereaved families that the government will work tirelessly to process the DNA testing of the three victims so that all families can find closure and bury their loved ones.
The South African Police Service and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) are investigating the cause of the crash.