Traffic volumes have started to increase on all major roads around South Africa as thousands of holidaymakers are returning to their homes after the Christmas holidays.

Limpopo traffic authorities say more than a thousand vehicles are passing through the toll gates on the N1 heading towards Gauteng.  There is traffic congestion on sections of the highway, especially at toll gates.

Transport MEC Dickson Masemola says both national and provincial traffic officers are on high alert. “The number of cars stretches probably almost a distance of 5, 6 kilometres. The records indicate that from the southbound gates, we have seen an increase of between 800 and 900 cars, not only at Nyl Plaza, but at almost all the toll gates from Musina right up to Kranskop and towards Pretoria. But on our side equally important, we have got enough person-power on the ground. Traffic officers are almost on strategic posts,” says Masemola.

The N-3 Toll Concession says traffic volumes leaving KwaZulu-Natal are rapidly increasing as holidaymakers are returning home.

N3 Toll Concession Commercial Manager Con Roux says more than 1 400 vehicles per hour have been counted heading towards Johannesburg on the N3.

Roux has urged motorists to be patient. “Well, traffic volumes on the N3 are picking up quite rapidly in the northbound direction from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng. In the last hour, we had 1450 vehicles an hour. So clearly a lot of the holidaymakers are coming to the end of their holidays and returning home. Our plea to motorists is please be patient under those conditions you’ve had a wonderful holiday but obviously it’s not over until you’re home safely. So please drive carefully and responsibly.”

On the N4 toll road, traffic volumes have started to increase from the Lebombo border post in Mpumalanga.

Traffic is also expected to be congested later on Sunday and Monday on many of the national and provincial roads. According to Community Safety, Security and Liaison spokesperson, Moeti Mmusi they are hoping that motorists will drive with caution.

“The law enforcement officers have been fairly visible through most parts of the province. We have seen our provincial traffic officers working closely with national traffic police as well as the police. The traffic officers from the municipalities were also seen on all the roads across the province in various municipalities would we believe such visibility would obviously have played a hand improving the driver behaviour,” says Mmusi.

Traffic volumes remain high on the N1 and N2 in Cape Town and other major routes in Western Cape. Provincial traffic authorities have been deployed to monitor traffic flow and assist motorists.

Thousands of vehicles are expected to start moving in and out of Cape Town as many people wrap up their holidays.

The Mother City is a popular destination with visitors from all over the country and internationally come to enjoy its pristine beaches, scenic routes, popular tourist attractions such as the Waterfront, Table Mountain, Winelands and Robben Island.

Many also came to attend Saturday’s Cape Minstrel parade.

365 days Road Safety Campaign

Meanwhile, Gauteng traffic police have arrested 45 motorists for violating the rules of the road in the province as part of the 365 days road safety campaign.

Gauteng traffic police spokesperson, Obed Sibasa says speed stars were also arrested.

“Dronkies and speed stars were detained at different SAPS stations across the province and will be appearing at different magistrate courts on Monday. A 26-year-old male was arrested for clocking 206 km/h on a 120 zone N1 Stormvool. They have acquired themselves criminal records depending on the seriousness of the offense, cancellation of the driver’s license fine not less than 10 000 if found guilty,” says Sibasa.