Know your minister: Transport
No more shall our people die in so many accidents. We say no more shall our people die deaths which can be avoided”, said Minister. Sibusiso Ndebele when he launched Transport Month last year.
This year Minister Ndebele calls upon all public transport operators to take responsibility for the safety of their commuters. He said this should be part of our commitment to road safety in this Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
As part of the nation-wide blitz on scholar transport and other public transport vehicles, close to 50 000 scholar transport vehicles have been stopped and checked across the country in September.
This follows instructions from Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to law enforcement officers to stop and check every bus and taxi on South Africa’s roads, following the deaths of at least 76 people in August.
The deaths occurred in eight separate crashes involving public transport vehicles such as buses and mini-bus taxis in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
Minister Ndebele conveyed condolences to the family and colleagues of lightweight boxer Bongani Dlamini, who died in a car accident in Sandringham, Johannesburg. “We want to convey condolences to the family, colleagues and fans of boxer Bongani Dlamini who was killed in a car crash, and wish those injured a speedy recovery. We are calling upon the boxing fraternity to partner with government against road deaths, and all of us must ensure that this never happens to others,” the Minister said.
From 31 August to 5 September, more than 48 000 scholar transport vehicles were stopped and checked, 210 scholar transport vehicles were discontinued from use and more than 10 000 fines were issued.
On 2 September, in Gauteng, officers from the National Traffic Unit, Cross Border Road Transport Agency, Gauteng Traffic Police and South African Police stopped and checked more than 2 000 vehicles, including 330 public transport vehicles.
School buses and taxis were also stopped and checked in other provinces.
So far, as part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), almost 12 million vehicles and drivers have been checked from 1 October 2010 to 31 July 2011.
Almost 5 million fines have been issued for various traffic offences, more than 17 000 drunk drivers have been arrested and about 47 000 un-roadworthy vehicles, the majority of which are buses and taxis, have been taken off the roads.