Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that 690 people lost their lives on South Africa’s roads between 1 December 2020 and 20 December 2020, compared to 732 over the same period in 2019.
Releasing the 2020 festive season preliminary road statistics on Tuesday, Mbalula said though the death statistics so far represented a 5.7% decline year-on-year, it was no reason to celebrate.
“While it is encouraging to see a decline in fatalities to date, we are still a long way from achieving the 20% target we have set for ourselves this year. I urge all road users to exercise extreme caution as we enter the second phase of our peak travel period,” he said.
Mbalula said his department would intensify visibility in hotspots and where there were events to ensure those who were not supposed to be driving stay off the roads.
“These preliminary statistics show that our road users are law-abiding citizens. But there are also those who are hell-bent on breaking the laws and we will show no mercy in dealing with them,” he said.
During the first traffic peak between 18 December and 19 December, an average of 2439 vehicles per hour were recorded on the N1 from Gauteng to Limpopo.
The N3 from Johannesburg to Durban recorded an average of 1547 vehicles per hour.
“Since the start of the festive season, our traffic law enforcement authorities kept a close eye on vehicle movements and transgressions of the rules. A total of 416 roadblocks were conducted from 1 to 20 December, with 634,166 vehicles having been stopped and checked,” said Mbalula.
109,529 motorists were issued with traffic fines for various offences, while 2415 vehicles were discontinued, and 1801 vehicles impounded.
Provinces that recorded an increase in the number of fatalities are the Eastern Cape with 96 fatalities compared to 79 in 2019, Limpopo with 90 fatalities compared to 76 in 2019 and Mpumalanga with 73 fatalities compared to 63 in 2019.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde