According to provincial traffic authorities, 25 people have died on Western Cape roads over the weekend.
Eight of these were pedestrians, while 13 were passengers, three were drivers, and one was an unknown road user.
The carnage continued on Monday morning, when a baby died after two taxis collided near Touws River, about 180km outside Cape Town, according to Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa.
The crash happened on the N1 highway at the Ceres turnoff, in the direction of Worcester, and 17 passengers were injured and taken to Worcester Hospital, Africa said.
“As long as there is no 24/7 visible policing, we are fighting a losing battle,” Africa said, lamenting the state of law enforcement on provincial roads.
“Provincial traffic and SAPS are currently the only services who renders a 24/7 service in South Africa. Provincial traffic is currently covering all the national and main roads in the province on a 24/7 basis.”
However, City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith disagreed with Africa.
“It’s not an accurate comment. City’s law enforcement is increasingly 24 hours. We’ve got three depots and we’re about to get a fourth depot for 24-hour shifts.”
He added that the City’s traffic service operated on a 24-hour basis, although he conceded that a small staff complement worked on that shift.
Smith also rejected Africa’s view that the majority of gruesome crashes happened at night.
“The vast majority of your traffic challenges happen when you have most of your vehicles on the road.”
He said City traffic law enforcement was available to attend to late-night incidents.
“Metro police is 24 hours and they have always been 24 hours. There are resources available at night to attend to queries.”
According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) National Road Safety Strategy 2016-2030, vehicle factors make up 14.1% of fatal collisions, while human factors account for 73.6% of fatalities on the roads. The road environment accounts for 12.3%.