The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has called on provincial Transport MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, to urgently implement the long-awaited safety plan following yet another major bus accident in the province in a period of less than a week.
It was gathered that the latest accident happened on the R56 in Umkomaas Valley near Ixopo.
According to reports, the incident took place on Monday night after the bus lost control and overturned. A total of 58 people have been recorded as having injuries, ranging from critical to minor.
The KZN DA in a statement condoled and sympathized with the families of victims involved in the fatal accident.
“The DA is deeply saddened by this. We extend our sympathies to those who endured this horrific ordeal and we pray for their speedy recovery.
“The fact that this serious incident comes so soon after 10 people died in a tragic bus accident on the N3 near Bergville is extremely concerning. The reality is that both of these accidents should never have happened,” the DA said
The DA, however, slammed MEC Nkonyeni for her failure to deliver on her promises to rehabilitate major road channels that are currently in a deplorable state.
“In April, MEC Nkonyeni promised the province’s transport portfolio committee a turnaround in various categories within her Department and a priority focus on reducing road carnage through increased law enforcement and better road maintenance.
“Given the high number of deaths on our province’s roads, it seems that nothing the MEC assured us of is materializing. The fact that October is also Transport month – where we are supposed to see an all-out war against traffic offenders – makes the situation even more difficult to bear,” the statement partly reads.
MEC Nkonyeni has however been urged by the DA to start implementing actions to give the deplorable roads a facelift so as to reduce the incessant rate of accidents in KZN.
According to the DA, the implementation of the rehabilitation process and safety plan is outlined as follows;
– Engaging with the National Department of Transport (DoT) to lower speed limits, particularly for heavy vehicles and public transport
– Engaging with the national DoT to ensure stricter safety standards for heavy vehicles
– Increasing the number of law enforcement officials on our roads on a 24-hour basis and;
– Increasing the number of roadblocks to ensure that unroadworthy, unlicensed vehicles and reckless drivers are finally dealt with.