The staggering death of 210 people on Eastern Cape roads over the Festive Season is nothing to celebrate, despite Minister Fikile Mbalula’s attempts to do so.
While the official death toll on Eastern Cape roads might be down slightly, from 228 fatalities last year, it is still unacceptable that so many people lost their lives on our roads.
The truth is that there has been little to no political will to address the ongoing lawlessness on Eastern Cape roads.
Instead of praising the Eastern Cape, the minister should be lamenting the fact that the province has failed to implement its own programmes.
In a capable state, there would be respect for the rules of the road, brought about by a strong awareness campaign, round the clock visible policing and strict penalties for those who fail to adhere to the rules.
Not so in the Eastern Cape, where Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe continues to backpedal on her commitment to roll out 24/7 Traffic Law Enforcement.
Visible policing is needed and an adequate budget should be found to appoint additional law enforcement officers.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. The loss of one life on our roads is one too many.
The DA will continue to fight for improved law enforcement on our provincial roads. The people of the Eastern Cape deserve better.