PROVINCIAL MEC for Transport, Roads and Public Works Thandiswa Marawu wants traffic officers to man Eastern Cape roads 24 hours a day.

This follows the horrific accident between a school bus and a minibus taxi outside Cradock at the weekend, in which at least 17 people died.

Marawu said in a media release yesterday she hoped that aroundthe-clock police visibility would provide safe passage for motorists on the provincial roads.

She expressed her condolences to grieving families who lost loved ones in Saturday’s accident.

“On behalf of provincial government, I would like to convey our condolences to the bereaved families and wish those who are still in hospital a speedy recovery.”

Seven victims from the crash are still being treated in hospital.

“We are not going to fold our arms; we will engage national government to fast-track the discussions of introducing a 24-hour shift system for traffic officers in order to improve law enforcement on our roads.”

Disaster Management co-ordinator Captain John Fobian supported the minister’s call.

He was confident the initiative would help to clamp down on road accidents.

“It goes about visibility and policing. This will help,” he said.

DA spokesman on roads and public works Dacre Haddon said the DA supported the call for around-theclock police visibility on the roads.

However, he said of concern was the fact that action was only being taken after the horrific accident.

He said the DA made a similar request to the provincial legislature two years ago, following another horrific East Cape bus accident in which several schoolchildren were killed.

“I will be raising this issue and the problems surrounding the equipping of provincial traffic officers and stations in a speech to the legislature this week. I will be calling for a serious re-look at ‘back to basics’ budgeting for our traffic stations.”

Haddon said the province could ill afford the continued loss of lives due to negligent driving. Action should be taken soon to halt the horrific carnage on Eastern Cape roads.