Report on fatal Limpopo crashes over long weekend to be released soon, says Mbalula

2019-06-18 17:24
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula (File, AFP)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula (File, AFP)

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A report detailing the circumstances surrounding the fatal crashes in Limpopo over the long weekend will be announced soon, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has said.

Mbalula was addressing traffic officials in the province following the deadly accidents. On Sunday night, 24 people, who were travelling in a minibus taxi, died when their vehicle collided with a bus on the R81.

News24 reported that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said it was investigating at least three major crashes in which 36 people died.

During his address, Mbalula said it was time for the law to "bite" and there should be consequences for road users who break the law.

"Those who undertake to undermine the rule of law in South Africa must face the consequences."

He said a new bill was sitting before President Cyril Ramaphosa that would ensure that there would be consequences, such as a demerit system for drivers who do not follow the letter of the law.

Increase traffic officers working hours

Mbalula also touched on the improvements that needed to be implemented to ensure that traffic officers across the country worked in pleasant conditions.

He urged them not to take bribes from road users who break the law, adding that the improved conditions would make it difficult for officials to engage in illegal deals.

"An angry traffic officer will be susceptible to wrongdoing, not that it is justifiable, but the same rule governing the police and those who maintain law and order must govern our traffic officers, wherever they are. At municipality, provincial and national level, the same rule book must govern all of us."

Mbalula said the ministry would work on increasing the number of officers in Limpopo because they were not equating to the growing population in the country.

Society must take responsibility

He said it would put a plan in place to ensure that traffic officers patrolled the roads for 24 hours per day to confiscate unroadworthy vehicles to curb road accidents.

"We have been briefed by the RTMC that we have 22 000 officers on the ground and those numbers need to be increased. We need to look at regulating the working hours."

Mbalula added that the onus for safer roads was also on road users who needed to take responsibility for their vehicles and the public transportation they used on a daily basis.

"We don't take responsibility for our unroadworthy cars. Some of the cars people drive on the roads are moving coffins. Society does not take responsibility by saying: 'What am I getting myself into'."

Read more on:    rtmc  |  fikile mbalula  |  polokwane  |  accidents
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