Free State transport MEC 'shocked' after more than 100 die on province's roads

2018-12-25 13:27
Montseng Tsiu. (Supplied)

Montseng Tsiu. (Supplied)

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The Free State MEC for Health, Montseng Tsiu, expressed shock during her interview with SABC at the rapidly increasing number of fatal road crashes in the province.

"We have put EMS personnel in all five major national roads that crisscross the province, namely N1, N3, N5, N6 and N8. Our personnel are well-positioned to respond to all types of emergencies, day and night, including provincial and local incidents," she said.

Tsiu pointed out that her department cannot prevent death as this is "totally out of our direct control and entirely in the hands of the drivers and other road users".

"We ask for people to take responsibility and prevent road fatalities. Our teams rapidly respond and are able to save lives in other instances, but where there are trucks and taxis in head-on collisions, survivors are few. It is too much to have the whole nine people dying in a single accident. One death is one too many," said Tsiu.

"We send our condolences to the bereaved families and wish [a] speedy recovery to the injured. Please arrive alive," she asserted.

She also took time to thank the EMS personnel for their dedicated service as well as trauma and casualty personnel in Free State health facilities for their responsiveness to all people that need our services.

On Monday, News24 reported that 100 had lost their lives in 61 crashes in the Free State since the start of the festive season, according to the Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport.

Condolences to the families

MEC Sam Mashinini expressed deep sadness over the number of lives lost.

"It is with a heavy heart that I once more send a message of comfort to mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who are not going to celebrate Christmas Day with some of their loved ones," Mashinini said in a statement. 

Earlier on Monday, the Eastern Cape provincial government announced that it had recorded a death toll of 111 since the start of the festive season. During the same period last year, 125 people died.

Mashinini said the department would continue working around the clock to ensure maximum safety on the province's roads. 

Last week, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande announced that deaths on the roads had increased by 16% between December 1 and 18.

"It is sad to note that we have witnessed a period of an unparalleled mixture of agony, misery and pain on our roads from December 1 to 18 this year," Nzimande said.

With recent road crashes from various provinces, the number has now increased. 

Motorists were warned to keep a lookout for pedestrians as they also seemed to be losing their lives every 200km or two hours on the road.

"Ka kopo hle mokhanni (Please drivers).... do not over take over solid barrier lines. Keep to speed limits, rest before embarking on long journeys to avoid fatigue. The lives of every passenger in the next vehicle on the road depends on you. Please exercise caution and patience,"  Mashinini said.

Read more on:    montseng tsiu  |  bloemfontein  |  accidents

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