Durban – KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called on the entire transport sector to work in close collaboration 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year to ensure that road deaths in the province are stopped.
He said he was drawing a line in the sand, declaring a war against road deaths in KZN.
Zikalala was speaking yesterday at the memorial service of the victims of last week’s horrific crash on the R66.
A delegation from the premier’s office attended the service to pay their respects to the victims and their families.
Zikalala said on their way to the service they drove past the scene of the accident.
“We saw with our own eyes the location of this tragic accident and where our fellow citizens perished. It was one of the saddest and most tragic accidents in our province given that the vehicles caught fire and the victims were also burnt. The fact that there was fire involved in the accident makes us even wonder, what if there was no fire, would our relatives have survived?” he said.
Zikalala said what makes this road accident even worse, is the fact that it came just days after 13 members of one family lost their lives in a crash in the area of Kilmon. near Bulwer, in the Harry Gwala District.
“We were there to lay to rest the mortal remains of 13 members of the Mndali family,” said Zikalala saying all the victims died in a single vehicle accident,” he said.
He said when calls are made for a zero-tolerance approach to road deaths, it is because officials are serious about it.
“Law enforcement led by all agencies of government must enforce the law without fail. We have seen enough. We have had enough road deaths. If we do not do anything about this we will be complicit in the massacre of thousands of otherwise healthy people who die on our roads every day,” the premier said.
He stressed that every road user must adhere to the rules of the road, even when no one is looking.
He said every road user must report transgressions to the police to prevent accidents from happening.
“Road safety is our collective responsibility. Let us all stand up and be counted so we can end this epidemic. In the Kilmon accident, we lost three generations of one family, many of whom could have made major contribution to the betterment of KwaZulu-Natal and their families,” Zikalala said.