The Minister Transport, Dipuo Peters, announced the volumes of traffic and accidents on the roads over the Easter weekend. The number of fatalities has increased compared to the Easter of last year.
702 presenter Udo Carelse spoke to Advocate Makhosini Msibi, Chief Executive Officer of the Road Traffic Management Corporation about the death toll over Easter.
In 2014 the number of fatalities on South African roads was 193; this year it escalated to 287. This is also higher than in 2013 when 241 people died during Easter.
The total number of fatal accidents over Easter holidays was 208, with 38 occurring in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Kwazulu Natal - 55
- Limpopo - 44
- Gauteng - 38
- Eastern Cape - 35
- Mpumalanga - 34
- North West - 28
- Western Cape - 26
According to Msibi, most of this accidents happened on national roads, major provincial roads and freeways. He says that the battle will only be won when everyone change their attitudes and take responsibility for road usage.
We are very much disappointed at the behaviour of our road users. Most of the contributing factors, amongst others, are speed, unroadworthy vehicles, people not buckling up, people driving under the influence of liquor and others.
Msibi said that the Office of the Minister is in engagement with the Department of Justice because it will not help to fine motorist R5000 only to get it reduced to R300 when they appear in court. He also said that plans are underway to start doing random tests that will subject motorists to drivers' license tests and if the driver is deemed not fit the license will be taken away. This is done to ensure that the quality of drivers is up to standard.
Road accidents affect a lot of people and Grant in Sandton says the Office of the Minister needs to go out and work on the streets to get first hand experience of what is going on
Tumi in Midrand says Advocate Msibi is not telling the truth.
Financial implications of road carnage in South Africa
Howard Dembovsky, National Chairman of Justice Project South Africa, says that car accidents on South African roads cost the economy of the country billions of rands per annum. According to Dembovsky, this is the money that goes towards the cleaning of the streets after accidents occurred, emergency services and roads repairs.
We are throwing money at the wrong things… it is very interesting that we are throwing money at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to actually compensate people for injuries and deaths on our roads but we are not taking money and putting it into proper road safety initiatives. In South Africa we have no proper road traffic policing, let’s face it… traffic law enforcement is nothing more than a revenue generating tool.
Listen to the full interview below
Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant says that road injuries and deaths cost the Western Cape economy more than the province's health or education budget. According to Grant road injuries and deaths in the province cost an estimated R21 billion per year. This is despite the department having a budget of R6.76 billion for the current calendar year.