Festive season road deaths so far show decline from last year: Fikile Mbalula

23 December 2019 - 15:22
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula released the mid-term road statistics on Monday.
Image: Twitter/Department of Transport Transport minister Fikile Mbalula released the mid-term road statistics on Monday.

About 160 fewer fatal road crashes - and about 250 fewer deaths - have been recorded since the beginning of the Christmas period compared to last year, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.

Releasing the 2019/20 mid-festive season road safety statistics on Monday in Musina, Limpopo, Mbalula said 489 fatal crashes had been recorded since the festive period began, compared to 656 over the same period last year.

He said 589 people had died on the country’s roads this festive season compared to 839 during the same period last year - a 30% reduction.

Mbalula said the department’s evaluation showed that law enforcement interventions were on target and continued to have the desired impact.

All provinces showed a reductions in fatalities:

  • Gauteng recorded 95 fatalities, compared to 133 last year;
  • KwaZulu-Natal recorded 133 deaths, compared to 172;
  • the Western Cape recorded 54, compared to 85 last year;
  • the Eastern Cape recorded 81 road deaths, from 102 last year;
  • Mpumalanga recorded 40 deaths, compared to 83 last year;
  • Limpopo recorded 73 fatalities, down from 94;
  • the North West recorded 36, down from 60; and
  • the Northern Cape recorded 16 deaths, compared to 29.

Mbalula said the department and law enforcement agencies would intensify efforts to continue to reduce passenger fatalities, adding that operations would focus on seatbelts and drunk drivers. 

“Reductions [in fatalities] require of us to intensify our efforts to make our roads safe. Our fight against carnage on our roads remains steadfast,” he said.

Since the beginning of the festive season campaign, a total of 629,661 vehicles have been stopped at 539 roadblocks nationwide. Traffic fines have been issued to 231,937 motorists for various transgressions.

“The number of traffic fines issued is less than those issued over the same period during the previous festive season by 101,595,” said Mbalula.

The number of arrests have also come down: from 3,052 previously to 2,915 this year - suggesting a slight improvement in driver behaviour.

"However, we remain concerned about the high number of people who continue to drive under the influence of alcohol. A total of 1,397 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence."