Same tired campaign, more Easter deaths. Minister must explain, says DA

2017-04-21 17:14

The country’s new transport minister may be summoned to Parliament to explain the shocking increase in road deaths over the Easter weekend.

Following Minister Joe Maswanganyi’s release of the preliminary figures today, the Democratic Alliance will write to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, to ask her to urgently summon the newly appointed minister to explain the alarming rise.

Earlier today, Maswanganyi released the figures at the Government Communication and Information Services head office in Pretoria, where he said that there was a 51% increase in deaths of 235, compared with last year’s 156 lives lost over the same period.

The DA has asked that the minister explain “in detail, why there has been an alarming 51% increase in road deaths despite millions spent on numerous road safety campaigns”.

The department of transport was criticised by the DA for continuously running the same road safety campaigns every year, without seeing any significant decline in the number of deaths which occur over the Easter period.

“The DA will continue to push for the department of transport to account for their inability to implement more effective road safety campaigns, which would go a long way to reduce this unacceptably high loss of life,” the DA’s Manny de Freitas said.

Thousands of vehicles take to the road over this period annually, where heavy traffic coupled with lengthy travelling times often leads to fatigue and frustration in drivers.

This afternoon at least 20 pupils died after their minibus taxi overturned in Bronkhorstspruit.

Avantika Seeth
Multimedia journalist
City Press
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April 22 2018