SA road deaths not normal - Chikunga

2012-07-04 22:32

Johannesburg - There was nothing normal about 14 000 people dying in South African road accidents every year, Deputy Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said on Wednesday.

"We must join hands and wage a fierce offensive against road carnage, as each one of us has a responsibility to ensure that our roads are safe," said Chikunga.

She was speaking in Sebokeng, at a mass memorial service held for the 20 people who died in a bus accident in Meyerton last month.

The initial death toll was 19, but another passenger died on Tuesday from injuries suffered in the crash.

Chikunga said the government was responsible for the necessary legislation to ensure safety on our roads.

"However, we will not succeed if we do not get the buy-in and support of members of the public."

A Putco bus driver lost control of his vehicle on the R59 outside Meyerton, in the Vaal Triangle on June 25.

It crashed through a bridge railing and fell 10m to the ground, landing on its side. Fifty-five people were injured, three of them critically. The driver was among those killed.

The bus was reportedly among eight Putco buses taken off the road after it failed a 12 June roadworthy test at the Meyerton testing station.

After conflicting roadworthy test outcomes were released by the Sedibeng municipality, Putco promised on Friday to "scrupulously" investigate reports that the bus was unroadworthy,

A preliminary investigation showed the bus failed one roadworthiness test, but passed another.

  • daniel.v.wyk - 2012-07-04 22:55

    Potholes, taxis, speeding, alcohol! There's your 4 biggest problems! - 2012-07-05 00:09

      Lack of road rule knowledge. Pedestrian awareness. Both of these rank above the 4 you mention. Even the police are guilty in both instances. I carry a downloaded copy of the road rules in my glove box. When I am pulled over for an 'offence' like failing to stop at a roundabout I pull out the rules, and the cops are shocked. Also, there is a general lack of consideration for other motorists in this country. Finally, the lack of law enforcement, and the lack of harsh penalties fo not help. People here consider not wearing a seatbelt a minor infringement. In Australia it is a R900 fine per person in the care. So if you have 4 people in the car not wearing seatbelts that is R3,600. Also trucks and bakkies carrying people in the back should be banned from doing so and fined accordingly.

      art5SA - 2012-07-05 02:49

      R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the MAIN ingredient needed t o bring down these deaths! Most of the drivers are oblivious to the RULES OF THE ROAD... Drivers going for the Code 10 Licences, then getting into a Sedan Motor Vehicle... NEVER having driven the said vehicle... THERE LIES THE PROBLEM!!!

      peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-05 05:34

      Daniel.v.wyk, you are right 1 But the Minister forgets that pedestrians are the highest fatality.........maybe they should SPEED to get wherever they going to...but nouja, full of alchohol,avoiding potholes and evading taxis as you cross the road at low speed does not help.

      julian.mulder - 2012-07-05 07:50

      I must say another one that i find quite annoying are tow truck drivers. Worse than taxis sometimes.

      art5SA - 2012-07-05 08:14

      I drive on the Autobahns in Germany very often, where there are NO SPEED LIMITS..... and there are NO ACCIDENTS EITHER!!!! Why? Because NO ONE DRIVES IN THE FAST LANE... you ONLY OVER TAKE in the FAST LANE... then return to the middle lane...

      mihaip007 - 2012-07-05 08:44

      How does this compare to the hiv-related deaths per year? wow...

      koos.meyer.52 - 2012-07-05 09:09

      The Govt does F all about taxis, there is the biggest problem. Adding insult to injury, SARS allows them to pay ZERO TAXES...

      breinlekkasie.dodelikegif - 2012-07-05 09:42

      There is only one problem on our roads, speed! Nothing else contributes to accidents accept speed. If we reduce the speed limit on all roads to 35 km/h, low enough that pedestrians can survive a crush all our problems will mysteriously disappear. Even better, just ban all vehicles from the roads so that pedestrians can use them the way they do anyway (as part of the pavement). That will solve all our problems.

      Templar - 2012-07-05 09:56

      LOL @ Breinlekkasie. Seriously though; expect to see more speed cameras, lowered national speed limits and stiffer fines. They cannot reason further than that.

  • rowen.loretz - 2012-07-04 22:59

    But it is NORMAL to have over thousands of unroadworty vehicles falling to bits, overloaded taxi's, overtaking on a solid line, drinking and driving and speeding at 220 KM/H? Time to get priorities straight. law enforcement???

      Rodney - 2012-07-05 01:54

      I think the biggest problem is the corruption in the driver testing centres and those who don't even bother to try and get a license, bought or not. In the UK, any car that is unroadworthy is removed and sent to be crushed, no questions. The cars have to be tested every year once they are over three years old. That means there are no unsafe vehicles on the roads, there are also automatic speed cameras that download the picture instantly, no need to remove the film, average speed cameras are all over the place, your speed is measured bewteen two points, if it's over the limit, expect a fine in the post. Don't pay fines? your insurance company will not renew your insuance until they are paid. Britain has over 31 million cars, in 2010 36 000 people were killed on the roads. SA has around 5.8 million cars, including almost 300 000 minibus taxis. do the math.

      art5SA - 2012-07-05 02:51

      Rodney... not to forget the M.O.T., Road Tax and INSURANCE... This is the reason you can purchase DECENT pre-owned vehicles in the UK...

      koos.meyer.52 - 2012-07-05 09:10

      Priorority is taking bribes, Durban Metro Police the worst!!

  • hendrikvs - 2012-07-04 23:02

    The driving skills and respect for others of many drivers, taxis and vehicles not roadworthy and the pieces of road surface held together by potholes are also not normal.

  • tebza.ngwana.92 - 2012-07-04 23:33

    South Africans are killed by being impatient on our roads, drink and drive, overspeeding, using cellphones, not buckling up, unroadworthy vehicles, not stopping on stop signs and beating red traffic lights. Why not charge those using cellphones behind the wheels and those drinking and driving with culpable hommicide? All unroadworthy vehicles impounded until they are fit to hit our roads. taxis that drives on emergency lanes to get hefty fines as well as private cars. let us commend Uk about enforcing the laws on their roads. I know as I was ther for 5yrs. their road deaths are far less than ours. anyone who go out drinking hire a taxi. why cant we do the same? think South afrcns

  • Masala Ramabulana - 2012-07-04 23:56

    Fix the road and it may reduce to 10 000, sort out the taxi and buses and you cut it to 5000 as for drinking and driving life sentence and it will stop

      art5SA - 2012-07-05 02:54

      Arrrgh! Just blame it on Apartheid... and sweep it under the carpet... Most of those OFFENDERS are illiterate and do not even read a NEW PAPER...never mind an Internet Report!

  • Tim - 2012-07-05 00:54

    Down here in the Cape there has been much fuss about cellphone use during driving and certainly that is worthy of consideration, but does it trump the fact that one in five vehicles have defective lights and drive around with impunity? I don't think so. Mandatory Roadworthies Higher standards required for public transporters and taxi drivers, manadatory insurance, outright bans for dangerous drivers and less taxes on new vehicles so that the cost is in line with the rest of the world and people can afford to drive better vehicles, oh yes and the occasional cop out on the road stopping transgressors wouldn't be a bad idea either. Although they would be the same cops I see chatting on their cell phones whilst driving, and speeding for no official reason. The solutions aren't that difficult to grasp minister but in thirty years of driving in SA I have never seen a single vehicle pulled off the road for defective lights or dangerous driving, instead we rely on blitz mentality and totally inneffective road blocks which everyone knows about five minutes after they have been set up.

  • adrien.mcguire - 2012-07-05 01:01

    The road deaths in SA are directly linked to the police. We do not have any effective law enforcement.Unfortunately the drivers need to be caught and dealt with effectively, this will then discourage others from breaking the law.What we have is a police force that is corrupt, and revenue driven. Only effective policing will break the cycle !

      Gerry Klos - 2012-07-05 01:31

      If you compare Europe 50 years ago the situation was like in SA. Strict law enforcement brought about the change. Driving there is a pleasure, no road rage, courteous drivers. But if you look at the ANC (Absolutely No Credibility)' they have none of these attributes, so it will never happen and the road deaths will continue.

  • vmhlauli - 2012-07-05 01:09

    The blood of the Lord Jesus on every road. In S.A and the whole world!\r\nLet the Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord cover every road in Jesus' mighty name!\r\n\r\nI send Fire upon all the demons that cause accidents! FIRE FIRE FIRE in Jesus' mighty name!\r\n\r\nI believe it is done 7n for the word of God says \if you had faith as small as a masterd seed, you'd surely move mountains\

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-05 01:25

      mustard seed,

      art5SA - 2012-07-05 02:55

      vmhlauli.... YOU NEED HELP!

  • Philip Buys - 2012-07-05 01:55

    To stop the carnage, the following must happen: 1.) Force truck and bus drivers to stop for 20 minutes, every 2hrs, like they do in Europe 2.)Roads are not up to standard. I almost had a head on collision near Reddersburg, after a person coming from the front sverved to avoid a pothole. 3.) Enforce and penalize drivers who disregard solid white lines. Saw a bus passing two trucks on a uphill, disregarding solid lines near Smithfield. 4.) Check headlights of vehicles when doing routine licence stop checks. A large amount of vehicles have only one light or no lights working. 5.) We have a huge unemployment problem in South Africa. Use allocated funds wiser, by appointing more traffic officials, more road maintenance crews. This is a sector that massive employment can be created.

      Roche Nelson - 2012-07-05 03:48


      nic.nomicos - 2012-07-05 07:35

      phillip i agree they also stay on the left hand side of the road and have a max speed limit of 80km/hr !!!!!!!

  • chadjason.wilson - 2012-07-05 02:22

    "We must join hands and wage a fierce offensive against road carnage, as each one of us has a responsibility to ensure that our roads are safe" "However, we will not succeed if we do not get the buy-in and support of members of the public" Ok...... its up to the public and not government, nor the transport industry.... Sindisiwe Chikunga shut up and go back to the hair salon....your intellectual capacity is required there.....

  • Peter Woods - 2012-07-05 04:52

    Blame it all on the corrupt regime!

  • david.mlambo.77 - 2012-07-05 05:19

    It is the South African culture thats not normal. Drinking, high driving spead, low adherance to road safety. At the pick of this are Taxi,s who mostly comply at traffic hot spots

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-05 05:30

    Its NOT speed that kills Minister. Those boards all over are a waste of time. It is drivers with No driving skills that take uncalculated chances that kills. Overtaking on blind rises and solid white lines.Overtaking 3 trucks at a time with vehicles approaching and miscalculating the power of your vehicle. Multiple deads always incurs in tacis and buses. Their drivers are the WORSE, they drive like hooligans or fall asleep. SPEED DONT KILL, pick another song,this one aint making it to the HIT PARADE.

  • simon.carter.5836711 - 2012-07-05 05:32

    Sort the taxis out, that saves 10 000 for a start. Educate people about how the little green man and red man works. Although if they can't work that out by now....... I work in JHB CBD and every single day without fail I have to brake/swerve for people crossing the road after they just step out against the red man, not even looking what's coming. The other day a father on one side called his maybe 3 yo son who was with his mother on the other to run across to him..Busy JHB street..3pm... Of course at that age they don't know. He ran straight out in front of me. Fortunately for ABS and my low speed I was able to avert a disaster. We need the 3 "C's" Common Sense Courteousness And bloody Cops putting more effort into effective policing on the roads and not just hiding behind bushes with their Chicken Licken picnics and Thermos's.

  • piet.boerie - 2012-07-05 05:43

    South African driving culture is way too agressive and impatient. We all know taxis as they kill about 10 000, the predestrians are an other issue. We are way to aggressive. Big fat pigs in their SUV's and 4wd driving up your ass trying to force you into the yellow lines. We are the worlds worst drivers...

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-07-05 05:46

    There's nothing normal about the way taxis drive either.

  • Don.Tandy - 2012-07-05 06:12

    A general embracing of the lawless culture combined with a pathetically ineffective police force results in anarchy

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-07-05 06:18

    Of course it is not normal. If one looks at how people have no respect for others and how they drive and are not caught and punished,how will you ever solve the problem. I drive a 1992 Toyota Corolla which I maintain and looks as if it just came off the showroom floor and I have never been involved in an accident and abide by all road laws but because of our corrupt law enforcement agencies those who respect the law must suffer. When people are unhappy that the law is enforced,they take to the streets and destroy property or block highways and what happens,nothing

  • Jake - 2012-07-05 06:23

    Fatalmovesdotcom has the message EVERY driver needs to hear. Every driver must visit wwwfatalmovesdotcom

  • RoryKlein - 2012-07-05 06:47

    Taxi Drivers, Government employees, buses a law unto there selves. Address that issue and you will have at least 50% reduction. I have send my daughter to driving school, I have to ask my daughters driving instructor for a report back on her progress.... Why? because I want my daughter to be able to drive properly. I want her to be able to deal with any given situation that she is confronted with while driving. BUT most importantly I want her to come home safely. YET there is one problem .... I can’t prepare her for how badly other people drive or how irresponsible they are on the roads.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-05 07:07

    18 years in charge of the DoT and they just realise this now? I suppose the truth eventually seeps through even the thickest skulls eventually.

  • Tishan - 2012-07-05 07:12

    What they need to do is provide stats of the 14 000.. taxis, buses, pedastrians, cylcists. then how may due to speed, drunken driving and un roadworthy vehicles and i assume what they will find is that more people are killed in unroadworthy taxis and buses then speeding or drunken driving. states is scared people see those stats they will stop using public transport.

  • raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-05 07:20

    There is also nothing normal about the murder and rape that occus daily in this crime infested hell hole of a country.

  • Pieter Du Preez - 2012-07-05 07:30

    If you consider road conditions, focus only on revenue generation from road users through toll and traffic/speeding fines, no focus on inconsiderate road use aka taxis, lack of focus on moving violations, undertaking (passing on left side), fast lane hogging, lack do restriction on trucks of all sizes to left lane I would consider road deaths as pretty good. Her statement reminds me of Thabo Mbeki's stance on HIV/AIDS and is a the typical head in the sand position (HITS) for ANC policy makers.

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-05 07:43

    last night I drove to the airport at 9 o'clock, it was very dark, on the way I saw 4 cars & 1 truck with no lights on at all, not even head lights, and about 20 cars with either one or more headlights or tail lights missing. Needless to say I did not see one single traffic cop. The only time I ever see a traffic cop, is when our local traffic cop (yes we have only one) is trapping along a road marked 60 km which should be 90 km (R27 opposite Sunset Beach), I can't remember when I saw a traffic cop after 6pm.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-05 07:57

    Putco bus drivers and taxi drivers have have no respect for road rules and speed limits. They are a law onto their own. And the cops hide behind trees trapping BMW's MB's Porches and the like. They are afraid of the taxi drivers.

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-07-05 08:00

    Fix the potholes, get all unroadworthy vehicles off the road, teach people to drive before they get drivers lisences, enforce all road rules (not only speeding).... STOP TALKING AND DO SOMETHING

  • drishworth - 2012-07-05 08:20

    There is also nothing normal about +/-20,000 people a year being murdered in SA each year. Destruction is a mind set that has become entrenched in SA - allowed to become more and more so by an incompetent Government. We shouldn't have to wait for the stats to reach 14,000 road deaths a year to ascertain that it is not normal.............. perhaps though, now that it has reached such disturbing numbers, the people will rise up and say enough is enough and force the authorities to deal swiftly, competently and harshly with those who, through their destructive mindset, are causing so much misery. Accidents will always happen but in SA it would seem that 90% of crashes are not accidents but the result of downright reckless and negligent driving.

  • John - 2012-07-05 08:26

    Why not have a proactive solution to this problem instead of reactive. A large contributing factor to the deaths on our roads is due to excessive amount un-roadworthy vehicles that travel upon it as well as unlicensed drivers. I mean, all one needs to do is travel for 5min on a national highway to spot at least 10 half-broken-down cars! One way of mitigating at least a fair portion of these un-roadworthy vehicles would be to enforce a system, much like the MOT in the UK, where every vehicle is tested annually. South Africans pay for their vehicle licence every year, why not have it actually mean something!

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-05 09:07

      Say NO to annual testing! I agree that unroadworthy vehicles are a menace and a danger but laws are already in place to require that vehicles are maintained in a roadworthy state. We just need cops to get out of the coffee shops and enforce the existing laws. Annual testing will create an unneccessary expense and waste of time for owners that already follow the law, and those who currently do not will still not. Say NO to pointless legislation that removes our freedoms and say YES to enforcing existing laws.

      robyn.hammond.33 - 2012-07-05 10:13

      @Mike - your selfish attitude is the problem. NOT MY FAULT, you shout, as you drive at 150kmph thinking you know what you are doing. Something has to change if you want our roads to be safer. Maybe it needs to start with you...

  • Develyn33 - 2012-07-05 08:37

    Yesterday in Roodepoort some idiot overtook a line of 5 cars at a 4 way stop, went straight through the stop nearly knocking over the guy selling papers who was not expecting a car in that lane from that direction and nearly took out the car crossing the four way stop. Two KMs up the road about 6 cars and a big truck went through their robot that had already turned red stopping the drivers whose light was then green from using the turning arrow to get across the oncoming traffic while it was safe to do so, so four of those cars just turned across the oncoming traffic when they had started moving... etc etc etc How may people bother with their indicators on the highway? How many people stop at a red light when they are turning left and there is no oncoming traffic? How many people are always 5 or 10kms over the speed limit because really that is not such a big deal. EVERYONE thinks that the traffic rules dont really apply to them, or that if everyone else can do it then that can do it - it is not a taxi or a bus - it is a mentality in the country and it gets worse and worse. Been commuting between Jhb and Pta for a feww years now and it is shocking what you see on our roads.

  • elizabethann.auld - 2012-07-05 08:39

    RESPECT - for self, others & all property, the law etc etc - If that still existed, half our problrms would vanish like mist before the sun, not just in South Africa, but world wide. Respect has to be taught from birth and be a part of all cultures. Anyone have a bright idea on how we can regain this?

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-05 09:09

      Parents! Teach your children!

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-07-05 08:49

    It is simple, a bus driver, truck driver or taxi driver gets locked up for life if they are involved in an accident along with the owners of the vehical! This is going to be the only way and I think this would reduce the figure by a min of 50%. There is no accountability for these a$%holes bad driving and lack of care for the vehical. If I had it my way then the above people would just be shot on the spot if they were in an accident! Out traffic department also needs to up its game, this bribery thing is out of control. I have been stopped more then once in the last year and have actually had to fight to get the fine out of the traffic officer because all they wanted was money!

  • BulletProof. - 2012-07-05 08:50

    Of course this happens now tha same people that's causing the accidents bought they licences 10 yars ago from corrupt government oficials.Surprised?

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-07-05 08:50

    Could you let us know how many of these belong to Taxi drivers?

  • Clive - 2012-07-05 09:03

    Unfortunately madam, it has become normal, and will remain so until drivers change their attitudes and we get properly trained, efficiently managed, and incorruptible traffic officials.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-07-05 09:24

    Life is cheap in SA. Cost of living however is one of the most expensive.

  • breinlekkasie.dodelikegif - 2012-07-05 09:37

    If we can only get those pedestrians who contribute 40% to the death toll on our roads of the roads it will help. Reducing the speed limit near townships is not going to make any difference. Pedestrian are unlikely to reduce speed to avoid being spattered over a windscreen. We need a comprehensive cloning project so that we can grow functional eyes and brains that can be transplanted into pedestrians. Their current configuration seems to fail when attempting to recognize illegal behavior near objects reserved for non fleshy objects moving at high speeds!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-05 09:52

    We need to rethink road safety. CCTV camera's and "road controllers" on all roads, similar to airways controllers could be a good start. "Big brother" should be watching and talking to all drivers all the time. It will also help with relieving unemployment.

  • i.see.a.cupcake - 2012-07-05 09:55

    its because the police are afraid of the taxis!!!

  • Christopher - 2012-07-05 09:58

    Well done captain obvious! How about less taxis and more busses to start with?

  • Templar - 2012-07-05 10:06

    Nice, this women is a trained nurse, should she not rather be in the health department?

  • carol.harvey.9406 - 2012-07-05 10:45

    Proper law enforcement in lieuw of bribes could go a long way to combating this problem .... 14 000 deaths is completely unacceptable!

  • martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-05 11:03

    yo yo yo , by dying wena you are stealing our tex money bustards, it is normal considering the state of the roads, the state of free licences to idiots, the metro cashing in by hiding behind bushes, all you are concerned about is the income dying on the roads.

  • JournoSergio - 2012-07-05 11:26

    I've seen taxis doing some pretty unbelievable stuff on the roads. Always give them a wide berth as you never know when they will involve you with a collision. Also - some people decide to cross a road without taking into account the speed of approaching vehicles... Many pedestrians either lose their life or suffer permanent disability by taking unnecessary chances...

  • ifundi - 2012-07-05 12:05


  • Aaron - 2012-07-05 15:22

    There's also nothing normal about the way that minibus taxis drive. No coincidence.

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