Traffic volumes high, 100+ dead on SA roads

2011-04-25 16:46
Johannesburg - More than 400 000 travellers entered and exited South Africa over the Easter long weekend, the department of home affairs said on Monday.

The department's Movement Control System (MCS) recorded 468 126 incoming and outgoing travellers, and these included a total of 173 657 arrivals and 294 469 departures over the Easter holiday, spokesperson Manusha Pillai said in a statement.

The travellers' numbers were collected from ports of entry, including OR Tambo International Airport, Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg and Oshoek.

"As more people return from their Easter holidays, the department's immigration officers will continue to deliver immigration services at all ports of entry across the country to meet the demand occasioned by an increase in traveller volumes," Pillai said.

She said home affairs minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, expressed the conviction that all travellers entering or departing from South Africa would be processed expeditiously by immigration officials so they could return to their homes following their Easter holidays in the country.

Busy border post

Meanwhile, SABC news reported that thousands of holidaymakers, who had visited other African countries, were making their way back to South Africa through the Beit Bridge border post in Limpopo.

The broadcaster reported that joint operations’ centres manned by police, ambulance services and traffic officials remained in place along the N1 between the border and Polokwane.

All the gates at both the Capricorn and Baobab toll plazas were opened to traffic going in the southern direction.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele earlier on Monday warned motorists to exercise caution on the roads as high traffic volumes were expected across the country amid the long Easter weekend coming to an end.

He named routes that were to be mostly affected as the N1 south from Polokwane to Pretoria, the N4 west from Nelspruit to Pretoria, and the N3 from Durban to Johannesburg.

He called on motorists to exercise caution on the roads which were also expected to be busy on Wednesday and the upcoming long weekend due to Freedom Day on April 27 and Workers Day on May 2.

Pedestrians were urged to ensure they were visible in the dark, and not to drink and walk, jaywalk or walk on freeways.

Drunk drivers, unroadworthy cars

The Road Traffic Management Corporation's preliminary figures indicated that more than 100 people were killed in road crashes over the long weekend.

"From Thursday [April 21] to yesterday [April 24], thousands of motorists were fined for various traffic violations with more than 250 arrests for offences including drinking and driving, reckless and/or negligent driving as well as invalid or false public transport documentation."

Particular attention was being given to vehicle roadworthiness, public passenger transport vehicles, speeds too high for circumstances, driving under the influence of alcohol and moving violations, Ndebele said.

From October 1 2010 to March 31 2011 over 7.5 million vehicles and drivers had been checked while 3.2 million fines were issued for various traffic offences.

Some 12 344 drunk drivers were arrested while 30 824 unroadworthy vehicles were discontinued from use.

Read more on:    sibusiso ndebele  |  nkosazana dlamini-zama  |  transport  |  accidents

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