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
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.