Easier travel expected after Easter weekend

2017-04-16 06:00
Commuters wait for the next Metro bus at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg. Thousands of commuters had to find alternative transport as drivers went on strike. Picture: Leon Sadiki

Commuters wait for the next Metro bus at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg. Thousands of commuters had to find alternative transport as drivers went on strike. Picture: Leon Sadiki

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Bus commuters who experienced problems this week after bus drivers went on strike will be relieved that the strike has ended.

The SA Weather Service says motorists should expect clear weather as they drive back from their Easter holiday destinations.

Only some light rain is expected in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal tomorrow.

Forecaster Dipuo Tawana said the light showers were expected only early in the morning, but it will remain partly cloudy in the two provinces through Tuesday.

The department of transport yesterday announced that it had deployed 18 819 traffic officers to ensure the safety of road users.

The end of the bus strike, which inconvenienced many at the start of Easter, will come as a huge relief for many long-distance travellers.

The National Union of Metal Workers of SA yesterday became the latest union to accept the wage settlement – it had initially refused the deal.

On Friday afternoon, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced that the bus strike is was over as the majority of unions had reached an agreement.

The three unions that signed the agreement included the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union.

In Kwa-Zulu Natal a single accident with major casualties was reported on the road between Mzumbe and Nkandla where 13 people were killed when a bus overturned.

Spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said the department had also sent its road safety awareness and education officers to major routes.

These included the R573 (Moloto Road), the N1 (Laingsburg to Cape Town), the N1 (Tshwane to Polokwane), the N1 (Johannesburg to Bloemfontein), the N2 (Mthatha to Port Elizabeth), the N3 (Johannesburg to Durban), the N4 (Tshwane to Lebombo border), the N5 (Winburg to Harrismith), the N6 (Bloemfontein to East London), the N14 (Klerksdorp to Kimberley), the N11 (Middelburg to Groblersdal), the N12 (Klerksdorp to Wolmaransstad), the R61 (Beaufort West to Mthatha), the R30 (Bloemfontein, Klerksdorp and Ventersdorp), the R80 (Mabopane to Tshwane), the R378 (Vryburg) and the R101 (Hammanskraal to Polokwane).

Officers will conduct law enforcement operations to ensure that motorists, passengers and pedestrians comply with traffic rules.

“South Africans must take note that those who engage in drunk driving, excessive speeding and negligent driving will be punished,” Mnisi said.

Motorists are advised to do the following:

. Plan their journey in advance;

. Travel during the day and not rush;

. Stick to the speed limit and allow extra time for their journey;

. Get a good night’s sleep before they hit the road; and

. Make sure they take regular breaks on long trips because fatigue kills.

Mnisi said the department had intensified its focus on the violation of traffic regulations.

Instructions have been issued to traffic officers to arrest those who drive recklessly, those who are negligent and those who speed.

More attention is also being paid to passenger and pedestrian safety.

Heavy fines will be issued for every passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt and if a child is not buckled up in the correct way.

Road safety officers are being placed at points where pedestrians cross busy roads to help reduce accidents.

Mnisi said mobile testing stations had been placed at strategic points to test the road-worthiness of vehicles.

Read more on:    numsa  |  transport  |  labour action

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