Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says overloading of vehicles is a crime that must be addressed. He was speaking at a mass funeral service of 21 of the 24 people who perished when a taxi and bus collided on R81 in Limpopo last Sunday.

On Saturday thousands of mourners paid their final respects.

“What we know is that the taxi was overloaded and there will be investigations further on that. But we know that the taxi was overloaded at least with 10 extra. That is the practical example of breaking the law, because you can’t overload a taxi that is supposed to carry 15 people with 10 extra. At the moment of excitement you might not see the danger.”

“But South Africans must take responsibility. It starts with us that we must never ever allow those who are driving us around to break the law.”

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says it will ensure its drivers are qualified to operate a public transport vehicle.

Santaco President Philip Taaibosch says: “A driver must have a driving license applicable to the vehicle he is driving; secondly he must also obtain a Public Driver’s Permit (PDP) that allows him to drive on the public roads and ferry passengers. Thirdly the vehicle that the driver is driving must be a licensed vehicle for roadworthiness and a licensed vehicle for ferrying passengers.”

Meanwhile, families say they were consoled by the support they are receiving.

Spokesperson for the families Janquas Mafa says: “It is a great loss to us. These youngsters that we are burying here today, they still had huge potential to become better people and play an important role.”

A final report on the cause of the accident will be concluded soon.

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