Limpopo Community Safety and Liaison MEC Makoma Makhurupetje says more than 2000 traffic and police officers will be deployed during the festive season to specific areas to deal with traffic offenders and criminals.

Makhurupetje says her department is concerned about the high number of fatalities on the province’s roads.

More than 45 people have died in road crashes in the past two weeks across the province.

The department is also targeting tourism attraction points with the festive season around the corner.

The launch of two operations aimed at ensuring safety on the province’s roads and tourism attraction points is happening about two weeks after more than 45 people had lost their lives in road crashes.

Twelve people died on Thursday last week after a minibus hit a donkey and collided with a truck on the N1 at Botlokwa, outside Polokwane.

Eight people have also been killed in a collision involving three vehicles on the N1 between Modimolle and Mookgophong and on the same N1 road four people died in three separate crashes over the past weekend.

On Wednesday morning a woman was killed after her car collided head-on with a truck on the same N1 road.

In addition to these crashes, other incidents have been reported from other parts of the province.

These escalating numbers have prompted the department to start a road safety operation called, ‘Thunder’.

This is aimed at intensifying the traffic officers’ efforts to deal with motorists who are not obeying traffic rules.

Community Safety and Liaison Makoma Makhurupetja says more than two-thousand officers will be deployed on the province’s major routes.

Makhurupetje says transgressing motorists will be dealt with harshly.

“We are worried about the accidents that have happened in the past two weeks we have launched an operation called operation Ndadzi that means Thunder whereby we will look at deploying all our resources from across the province including the N1 and other areas more than 2000 traffic officers will be deployed in different road blocks we say to our road users better late than never.”

The department has also launched a festive season safety campaign. It is aimed at increasing police visibility at the province’s tourism attraction sites.

Tourists were robbed of their belongings at a hotel in Mogobeskloof, outside Tzaneen about three months ago.

The department’s Rolan Stander says they want to ensure that tourists have a safe festive season in the province:

“This is a time for excitement the time for the festive, but also the criminals are also on the loose here there are many things happening here we have an operational plan with all the departments involved. We are in Phalaborwa we are doing patrols and we started this in Polokwane last year and the successes were marvelous.”

One of the motorists, Jack Rikhotso, has called on his fellow road-users to obey traffic rules at all times.

Rikhotso says the transport department should also fix potholes on some roads as they are a contributing factor to road crashes.

“Most of the people are really dying especially the youth who are driving under influence of alcohol another thing is that our roads are not in a perfect condition and I think the portholes the government must try and make the road very easy I think that will be much better.”

MEC Makhurupetje says 38 drivers were arrested for traffic rules violation in the Tzaneen area during a police and traffic officers operation over the past weekend.

She urged motorists to always obey the traffic rules to help reduce road carnage.