The Department of Transport continues to sit idly by, paying lip service and sending condolences, while the carnage on Eastern Cape roads continues to claim lives.
This past weekend, at least 22 people were killed in nine separate crashes on the province’s roads, with the death toll expected to rise as critically injured individuals fight for their lives in hospitals across the province.
The accidents have been attributed to reckless and negligent driving, but despite this the Provincial Traffic Department has failed to take the necessary corrective measures.
Statistics show that the highest number of accidents occur between 10pm and 4am, but there are no provincial law enforcement officers on duty in the Eastern Cape at that time.
In her 2018/19 budget speech, MEC for Transport, Weziwe Tikana announced that she would be embarking on the rollout of 24-hour traffic law enforcement on the province’s roads.
However, in a recent response to a parliamentary question, the MEC confirms that this has not happened.
Click here to view the response to Click here to view the response to IQP 26 qq 343,344
It has been five months since the new financial year and no progress has been made. In fact, the rollout of this initiative has been further hampered due to lack of proper consultation with labour and unions.
Even the initial pilot project has failed to see the light of day, with the rollout now pushed back to December 2018.
Added to this is the low morale of traffic officers, who have not been paid overtime for months, and it is not surprising that we are seeing lawlessness increase on the roads.
With no signs of visible policing at night, we can expect these heart breaking and totally unnecessary deaths to continue unabated.
I am calling on the MEC to prioritise the rollout of 24-hour traffic law enforcement, and bring law and order back to the province’s roads.
Note to editors: Below is an audio clip from Marshall von Buchenroder on the above.