Department seeks divine intervention to curb road deaths

THE Eastern Cape department of transport has teamed up with religious leaders in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to seek divine intervention against road accidents before the World Cup.

At a function held at the weekend in Port Elizabeth, Bishop Mbulelo Ngqono, the department's chaplain, said: "Our department's priority is to ensure that we curb road accidents because they cause deaths."

Ngqono said the number of people dying on the roads was too high.

He said the last time he saw a huge number of bodies was during the apartheid era when the then government "killed our people".

"People are dying like flies. Only the power of prayer can bring divine intervention to this carnage."

He said stray animals were also contributing to deaths on the roads, and that traffic officers should apply zero tolerance to those breaking the rules of the road.

Transport MEC Ghishma Barry recently launched a Road Ranger programme for the Cacadu district, which includes Nelson Mandela Bay, in a bid to remove stray animals from roads. The department has also given the road rangers new bicycles.

One of the rangers, Cynthia Matani, said she was happy to be playing a role in saving the lives of both locals and World Cup tourists who would be visiting the province.

Her colleague, Boy Mantewu, said he was also happy because before they were employed as road rangers, there were many stray animals that caused serious accidents.