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Batho Pele Principles

Transport MEC stresses over consistent road fatalities

By: Maano Nekhavhambe

MEC for Transport and Community Safety Mme Makoma Makhurupetje has expressed her concerns over a number of road collisions that are continuing to claim lives in the province’s N1 High way recently.

 

This follows a horrific multiple vehicle tragic accident which occurred on the N1 between Kranskop and Nyl Toll Plaza on Friday, 19 October 2018, when a fatigued truck driver lost control of his vehicle due to a tyre burst, leading to him crashing into a number of other vehicles, in an on-coming traffic, including the 22-seater Quantum coming from Bochum heading to Thembisa and a Ford bakkie with a driver and one passenger on board.

A total of 26 lives including two children were lost.

“I am worried about the manner in which the accidents are happening in this province, more especially the recent ones on the N1 between Kranskop and Polokwane. It was very devastating when I got to the scene, it was too bad.” Laments Makhurupetje

The area where the accident happened is actually demarcated as the High Accident Zone and that shows that there are number of accidents occurring either at the same spot or on the same road.

Makhurupetje has insisted that the Limpopo Provincial Government’s main concern is that the road is too narrow to an extent that if the accidents happen on the other side between Kranskop and Pretoria, certainly the on-coming traffic would not be affected unlike between Kranskop and Polokwane.

The MEC highlighted that the Limpopo Provincial Government is concerned about the condition of the road itself also taking into consideration that at the beginning of September‚ on the same stretch of road‚ 22 people died in two separate accidents involving buses. One bus from Zambia veered off the road near the Caltex garage (30km outside Polokwane) and 10 passengers lost their lives. Within a space of a week, another bus coming from Zimbabwe claimed 12 lives after veering off the road on the N1 between Mokopane and Modimolle.

Makhurupetje called for the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) and National Department of Transport to prioritise the road in order to avoid more fatalities.

“What happened is a disaster and the accident happened in an area clearly demarcated as a high accident zone. Given the fact that this is a third accident to happen within a short space of time on the N1 road. We think it is now time for SANRAL and the national government to declare a disaster on this road - as we cannot continue to lose lives in this manner.” She concluded

Meeting with the bereaved families of 26 deceased at Mokopane Hospital on Sunday, 21 October 2018, Limpopo Premier Stanley Chupu Mathabatha has assured them that the provincial government will assist with burial arrangements.