Ndebele sends condolences to crash victims' families

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of more than twenty people killed in two road crashes during the past 24 hours.

"We want to convey our condolences to the families and relatives of all those killed in these road crashes. We wish the injured a speedy recovery," Ndebele said.

Eight people were killed and five others sustained injuries when a minibus-taxi they were travelling in overturned on the Mabopane Highway near Rosslyn in Pretoria on Monday morning.

On Sunday night 14 people were reported killed and 21 others seriously injured in a road crash between two minibus taxis and a bakkie in Bothaville in the northern Free State.

Ndebele said public transport operators who compromise the safety of their passengers must be dealt with harshly.

"Over the past few months, we have repeatedly warned public transport operators, particularly operators and drivers of taxis and buses that public transport enforcement will be stepped up.

More than 500 taxis and 200 buses have been removed from the country's roads and thousands of fines issued for other public transport offences since January.

Certain provinces already have dedicated Public Transport Enforcement Units to carry out specialised enforcement operations specifically on public transport.

"As government, we will not compromise the safety of innocent commuters, therefore those public transport operators and drivers who continue to disregard the law must be punished accordingly," the minister said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) have been dispatched to visit these affected families in order to provide necessary assistance to them.

The Department of Transport has also dispatched a team of accident investigation and reconstruction specialists to assist in the investigation of these crashes.