High alert for Easter hol­i­day

Traf­fic vol­umes are also ex­pected to be high on the N3 to Dur­ban, N4 to Mpumalanga and all roads lead­ing to the bor­ders

Afro Voice (Northern Cape) - - NEWS - DIKELEDI MOLOBELA AND KUTULLO MADISHA news@the­newage.co.za

WHILE traf­fic au­thor­i­ties are on high alert ahead of the in­creased traf­fic vol­umes and ex­pected spike in crashes over the Easter long week­end, the coun­try was yes­ter­day rocked by news of a fa­tal bus ac­ci­dent in Ng­cobo in the Eastern Cape in which 10 peo­ple in­clud­ing three chil­dren, died. The bus was trav­el­ling from Gaut­eng to Mthatha. The res­cue teams had to use the jaws of life to free trapped peo­ple.

This as trans­port au­thor­i­ties brace them­selves for the ex­pected rush of traf­fic start­ing today and ma­jor conges­tion on the N1 to Polok­wane as hun­dreds of thou­sands of ZCC pil­grims travel to Mo­ria for the an­nual gath­er­ing.

Traf­fic vol­umes are also ex­pected to be high on the N3 to Dur­ban, N4 to Mpumalanga and all roads lead­ing to the bor­ders.

RTMC spokesper­son Si­mon Zwane said they had de­ployed traf­fic of­fi­cers to­gether with SAPS on all ma­jor routes.

“We are aware that schools are clos­ing and peo­ple will be go­ing on hol­i­day and we have also taken into ac­count that it is month end and al­co­hol use will be high, so all roads will be mon­i­tored.

“We en­cour­age pedes­tri­ans to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their lives and stop cross­ing high­ways as they con­trib­ute to a high num­ber of deaths on the road and 60% are found with al­co­hol in their sys­tems,” Zwane said.

The city of Jo­han­nes­burg emer­gency man­age­ment ser­vices will also be on high alert over the Easter hol­i­days long week­end as traf­fic will in­crease.

Mean­while, Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs Malusi Gi­gaba said yes­ter­day that the depart­ment had taken steps to com­bat il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties by im­ple­ment­ing strict bor­der law en­force­ment ahead of the long week­end.

Gi­gaba said the in­creased vol­ume of peo­ple mov­ing through the ports and bor­der posts dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod present a num­ber of se­cu­rity risks in­clud­ing fraud­u­lent or il­le­gal stamp­ing of travel doc­u­ments by cor­rupt bor­der of­fi­cials, il­le­gal mi­gra­tion and so­cial in­sta­bil­ity.

“This there­fore makes it im­per­a­tive for ports to be well pre­pared at all times to ex­e­cute and fa­cil­i­tate trav­eller move­ment and im­por­tantly also to mit­i­gate il­le­gal move­ments and trans­gres­sions,” he said.

Gi­gaba said ports of en­try had been fully ca­pac­i­tated.

“The up­surge in trav­eller and ve­hic­u­lar move­ments puts a strain on lim­ited re­sources at the ports of en­try. Ad­di­tional hu­man re­sources must be de­ployed as re­quested to en­sure rea­son­able turn­around times and avoid con­ges­tions at ports.

“All stake­hold­ers in the bor­der en­vi­ron­ment are mo­bil­is­ing re­sources to ad­dress the short­age by de­ploy­ment of ad­di­tional staff or pro­vid­ing over­time,” the min­is­ter said.

One of the mea­sures that has been taken was the ex­ten­sion of op­er­a­tional hours at ports of en­try from March 27 un­til April 6.

TRAGIC RE­SULT: A bus trav­el­ling from Gaut­eng to the Eastern Cape was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent in which 10 peo­ple in­clud­ing three chil­dren died.

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