MEC Mamabolo hopes Easter travel won’t result in COVID-19 surge

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Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, says they are concerned about a potential increase of COVID infections as holidaymakers make their way back to Gauteng.

Speaking at the N1 Petroport outside Pretoria where the department conducted its Easter Road Safety Campaign, Mamabolo says they did not anticipate that many people will leave the province for the Easter holidays.

“We are concerned about the potential increase in the number of people that may be infected with COVID-19. Our expectation was that there would be less interprovincial movement because people will be the difficulty of the environment, the risk that it has, but clearly people have travelled across provinces and that is of really great concern. We can only be hopeful that this does not translate to any increase in the rate of infection,” he says.

About 20 people have lost their lives on Gauteng roads since the beginning of the long weekend.

Mamabolo says this remains a cause for concern as these fatalities mostly involve pedestrians.

“The first and deeply worrying issue is the problem of pedestrians that get knocked  by vehicles and also pedestrians that are crossing the highways. People are still not listening to our directive that they must not drive at a high speed, so we are seeing people that are driving at a high level. The behaviour of people is still not where we want it to be.”

Mamabolo says adherence to rules of the road remains a challenge.

“The culture of road usage is extremely bad, and I would really appreciate if our motorists can improve because twenty lives lost in just three days is just too much. So to that extent our overall assessment overt the weekend is that it started very well on a Thursday but things got bad over the day and we can see it with the numbers here that people are not complying to the message to stay at home and to also make sure they respect the rules of the road,” he adds.

Gauteng traffic update: