The Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the 27 people who died on the N1 near Kranskop on Friday afternoon, 19 October, Polokwane Review reports.
Preliminary reports indicate a freight truck, which was travelling northbound, collided with a minibus taxi and several vehicles which were travelling on the N1 southbound following a burst tyre.
Minister Nzimande has directed the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) accident construction team, working together with their provincial counterparts and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to swiftly conduct a full investigation which involves determining the roadworthy status of the truck which is said to have caused the crash.
“I will be meeting with tyre manufacturing companies together with the road freight logistics companies to discuss the effect of tyre safety which is becoming a vital factor in thousands of road crashes we have every year,” said Minister Nzimande.
However, the accident raised concerns with people who say the stretch between Kranskop and Polokwane is extremely dangerous as there is no barrier between northbound and southbound traffic.
— Mabern Semufhilo (@Dzhavhi) October 19, 2018
As a result, Minister Nzimande has directed the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) to conduct an engineering investigation where the N1 narrows from Kranskop and Polokwane to determine if road engineering might not be a contributory factor to the many crashes that are notorious in this stretch of the road.
He further said that although law enforcement officers are deployed throughout the length and breadth of the South African road network and also at known hazardous areas, the ultimate responsibility of road safety rests on the shoulders of all road users.
He also added that government’s long term objective is to move goods and passengers from road to rail and this will go a long way in reducing road carnages.
“We call on all road users to be vigilant on our roads. Only a partnership between government, civil society and the private sector would see us winning the battle against road carnage,” said Minister Nzimande.
The Minister has enlisted the services of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to give the family of the deceased and the injured the necessary support and comfort.
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