Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged motorists to drive with caution to avoid fatal crashes on national roads. He was speaking in Polokwane in Limpopo after 45 people were killed in road crashes over the long weekend. The most fatalities were recorded on the R81 in Maphalle, which claimed 24 lives.

Mbalula says the law must ensure there are consequences for those who don’t abide by the rules. He has condemned reckless and drunken-driving.

“We have had more than 44 fatalities in this province and elsewhere in the country. We don’t take responsibility for our reckless driving. We don’t take responsibility to ensure that we respect the law. If someone passes a roadblock through a bribe and causes an accident elsewhere, your whole family could be in danger because we allowing just an individual to surpass the laws of the country and an officer of the law. It is an act of criminality to be on the road and undermine the laws.”

Mbalula says he will ensure that traffic officers are deployed on a 24-hour basis in provinces that record a high number of road fatalities, especially Limpopo. He says most road crashes are a result of reckless driving and unroadworthy vehicles.

Mbalula says he will engage with the MECs in provinces with a high number of crashes.

“Here in this road block already we’ve got a bus that is not roadworthy it has got fraudulent papers, and then they are using side ways to avoid traffic officers. You can imagine how many of those don’t have lights, brakes, roadworthiness; all those things must actually be checked. We need to increase officers on the ground. We need to get them to work 24/7. Those are the things I’m going to fix with our MEC’s in the provinces here and this is what we are going to do going forward.”