ON April 11, at approximately 7:45 am at the bottom of Mbubu Road and leading into the Linwood Drive/Swartkop Road corner in Boughton, in the midst of the early morning rush, a horrific accident took place killing seven people.
This has left many residents and communities around PMB concerned about the safety of our suburbs, with the exponential growth of these horrific and fatal accidents that seem increasingly to involve our public transport systems.
In the Boughton and Blackridge areas along the Mbubu/Swartkop route, the toll of accidents and fatalities in the past couple of months has been a serious point of concern, especially in an area with such a constant flow of urban pedestrian activity.
I experienced first hand in my own residence, the implications of taxis not being roadworthy while transporting passengers.
In September 2015, at approximately 9 am on a Saturday morning, a mini-bus taxi lost control from the top of Sweetwaters and the driver managed the situation by cutting into our small road and went straight through our motorised gate to slow himself down. Luckily this worked and the taxi ended up stopping millimetres from my company vehicle. The quick thinking on the driver’s part saved his passengers’ lives that day.
Taxis are the quickest, most available and affordable form of public transport in South Africa.
The taxi industry is continually growing in our economy and provides empowerment opportunities for many.
It is understandable that the taxi industry is very demanding and targets have to be met in order for the business to be successful.
This may result in a low-budget approach that leaves the drivers of these vehicles in a situation where they’ll do anything to meet their demanding targets, i.e. breaking laws such as speeding and driving recklessly.
We as a country need to get to a point where vehicles that are not roadworthy are removed from the road to ensure the safety of lives.
However, this would take constant inspection and surveillance on our roads, which doesn’t seem possible at this point in time.
In conclusion, I feel in particular that the Msunduzi Municipality has a serious issue and we as the communities need to voice our concerns to ensure changes are made.