Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
5 Oct 2019
1:32 pm

‘Surprise! It’s me, Cyril!’

Citizen Reporter

As part of launching Transport Month, President Ramaphosa inspected a roadblock on Saturday and had a chat with motorists.

President Cyril Ramaphosa taking part in Transport Month. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday morning took part in October Transport Month activities with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Among other things, he donned his reflective gear to inspect a multidisciplinary road block and “interact with road users while conducting an anti-clockwise systematic vehicle inspection at N3 Heidelberg Weighbridge in Gauteng”.

It was clear from the reaction of some of the motorists that the last person they were expecting to see today was the president.

President Cyril Ramaphosa taking part in Transport Month. Picture: GCIS

The president also gave an address, in which he said it was significant that the event was taking place along the N3, “one of the most important economic arteries in our country”.

“This freeway is also an example of the remarkable infrastructure we have been able to build and maintain during our 25 years of freedom and democracy.

“However, we are also here today to acknowledge the tragic human and economic cost inflicted by collisions and other accidents along this freeway and roadways around our country.”

He said they had invited survivors of accidents and people who had experienced loss in their family or among colleagues due to accidents; he called on road users to improve their attitudes and behaviour.

President Cyril Ramaphosa taking part in Transport Month with Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS

“Safer roads do not begin with more police and greater enforcement.

“Safer roads begin with what we think, feel and do as we begin our journeys as pedestrians, drivers, passengers or cyclists.

“Safer roads begin with providing safe and comfortable transport for workers, instead of bundling large numbers of people on to the backs of exposed vehicles, in clear disregard of the value of life or in violation of our law.

“Safer roads begin with checking our vehicles and keeping them off the road if they are not roadworthy.

“Safer roads begin with understanding that no one owns the road, and that roads are stretches of infrastructure we share as citizens for our common benefit.

“Safer roads begin with mutual respect between law enforcement officers and road users.

“We all have a right to safety and it is up to each of us to create that safety through our own conduct.

“It is up to each of us not to drink and drive. Ever.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa taking part in Transport Month with Premier David Makhura and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: GCIS

He said there should be no need for families to plant crosses and place flowers along sidewalks and roadsides, and that it pained him that the country continued to experience about 14,000 road deaths a year coming at an economic cost of around R147 billion each year.

“We must arrest this dire situation for the sake of preserving the health of our people and the productivity of our country.”

He said South Africa had committed itself to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, which seeks to reduce road fatalities and injuries.

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.