EC bus tragedy highlights need to police roads

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
Shadow MEC for Transport

The Democratic Alliance wishes to extend its sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the tragic bus accident in the Kei Cuttings yesterday. We also wish those injured a speedy recovery.

At least 28 people were killed when a DMJ luxury bus, travelling from Cape Town to Durban, veered off the N2 and rolled 100m into a ravine, just a few kilometres from the Kei River Bridge.

This stretch of road is notorious as a high accident zone, and clearly more needs to be done to ensure that the rules of the road are adhered to.

It is clear that Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana -Gxothiwe’s intervention strategy continues to fail in reducing the number of fatalities on our roads.

We need to be implementing the 24-hours a day seven days a week law enforcement system, which MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe has been promising us since 2018.

In her latest response on the matter, MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe states that the Department has transitioned to a 24/2 flexi-shift system and has experienced push back to the roll-out of a comprehensive 24/7 system.

MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe also notes that the Department has minimum resources to roll out 24-hour traffic law enforcement, both in terms of human resources and equipment. The new deadline for the roll-out of a true 24/7 system has been conveniently pushed back to the 2022/23 financial year.

See: IQP 10 qq 258

Several reports, including those of passengers themselves, indicate that the bus was experiencing mechanical difficulties, raising concerns over the vehicle’s roadworthiness.

The DA is calling for a full investigation into the cause of this accident, which must also deal with the roadworthiness of the bus.

The rules of the road are there for a reason, to save lives. We cannot allow people to flagrantly disregard these rules and get away with it, the cost in lives lost, is simply too high.