More needs to be done to protect the lives of Eastern Cape road-users

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
Shadow MEC for Transport

Drastic action needs to be taken if we are to address the ongoing carnage on the Eastern Cape roads that is claiming the lives of thousands of loved ones across the province.

This week, as we enter Transport Month, at least eight people have died and twenty-two have been seriously injured.

The Democratic Alliance would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who have been tragically killed in these road accidents.

This tragic loss of life is unacceptable, and clearly shows that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of road users.

High visibility and tough law enforcement all year-round, not just seasonal plans, can curb the high road death toll in the Eastern Cape.

MEC Weziwe Tikana must use this month to advance our province’s road safety initiatives.

This needs to go beyond simple road safety awareness campaigns, there needs to be active law enforcement. It is no good passing new laws, such as the new AARTO Act, if they are not actively enforced and those who transgress are held to account.

The following steps can be taken by the Department, which will have a direct impact on improving traffic policing in the province:

  1. The establishment of a 24-hour traffic law enforcement service within the province
  2. All funded vacancies must be filled as a matter of urgency.
  3. Additional provincial traffic officers need to be appointed
  4. Outstanding overtime must be paid.
  5. Monitoring and removal of stray animals must be prioritized, and
  6. Satellite traffic offices need to be established, to alleviate the long distances officers have to drive in order to do patrolling.

We need to take back our Province’s roads from lawless individuals, who place their lives, and the lives of others, at risk through their negligent behaviour.

I urge Eastern Cape road users to be vigilant on our roads at all times. Be aware and help save lives.