The Portfolio Committee on Transport has voiced disappointment in the high number of fatalities recorded on South African roads during the 2018 festive season.
The Chairperson of the committee Ms Dikeledi Magadzi said the 1612 deaths is too high and called for a zero tolerance approach with severe punishment for people who break traffic rules.
“It is clear that something drastic ought to be done to curb this number. What is even worrying is that a large portion of this figure is as a result of recklessness of public transport,” Ms Magadzi said.
Releasing the statistics on Wednesday 16 January, Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande announced that the death toll rose to 1612 with KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape recording the highest number of fatalities respectively.
Ms Magadzi said the time is right to think of additional and new programmes that will strengthen speed enforcement and vehicle roadworthiness measures. Furthermore, Ms Magadzi said severe punishment should be applied to transgressors of the rules of the road and there must be zero tolerance towards people arrested for drinking and driving.
“Such programmes should inspire responsible driving. It is time that government entities and law enforcement agencies take ownership of what happens on the roads. Law enforcement operations on the roads should be enhanced even if it means inconveniencing the road user.”
She said preparations for the Easter weekend should start now and that hotspots for fatal accidents should be identified and prioritised in order to reduce accidents.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.