Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says they will enforce accountability to ensure that those entrusted with transporting people comply with the rules.
Mbalula visited the scene of the horror bus crash that claimed the lives of 25 passengers at Zingcuka village in Centane in the Eastern Cape.
The bus which was carrying mostly elderly passengers to Centane to get their social grants injured more than 70 others.
Residents at Zingcuka and nearby villages were still at the scene of the crash, looking on as detectives and investigating officers fine-combed the area.
The Road Accident Fund and Road Traffic Management Corporation also visited the scene.
Mbalula warned that drivers who overload and put people’s lives at risk will be severely punished.
He says, “We are hard at work investigating the circumstances of this accident and we will give them the answers they need in order to find peace. It cannot be that we are spurred to action only when lives are lost on our roads. Ensuring that our people are safe on our roads must be a daily pre-occupation…”
He said as a department they will find practical way to hold those who endanger the lives of everyday people using transport…
“The culture of consequence management must be the defining character of a service culture that must find expression in everything that we do,” added Mbalula.
Mbalula speaks on investigations into Centane bus crash
Police have opened a case of culpable homicide.
Provincial Commissioner Liziwe Ntshinga says, “Our forensic teams and detectives are here to investigate the scene. We will do anything in our power to ensure we get to the bottom of this and know what really caused the accident…”
Meanwhile, the company that owns the bus, AB350, blames the condition of the road for the crash.
Stakeholder Relations Manager Manelisi Siguqa says the company will conduct its own investigation.
Siguqa says, “According to our person who was at the scene at the time of the crash, the bus was carrying 65 passengers. We are the only company that is rendering this service and in certain areas the condition of the road is not so good.”
Bus company COO extends condolences to families of loved ones lost in Centane bus accident
Residents, although not ruling out overloading as the cause, believe the condition of the 28 km stretch of road from Centane to Thafalofefe hospital is the main cause of the crash.
Mbalula has promised that a monument of remembrance for those who died will be constructed at the scene.
MINISTER SADDENED BY THE CENTANE BUS TRAGEDY
The Minister of Transport, Mr @MbalulaFikile has learned with shock and sadness of a major crash on the gravel road in Willowvale at Qolweni location in the Eastern Cape. The bus was travelling from Chebe, en route to Butterworth. pic.twitter.com/mVLPwFsvCG
— MEDIA LIAISON | Esethu Hasane (@EsethuOnDuty) March 2, 2020