Eas­ier travel ex­pected af­ter Easter week­end

CityPress - - News - MSINDISI FENGU msindis.fengu@city­press.co.za

Bus com­muters who ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems this week af­ter bus driv­ers went on strike will be re­lieved that the strike has ended.

The SA Weather Ser­vice says motorists should ex­pect clear weather as they drive back from their Easter hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions.

Only some light rain is ex­pected in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Na­tal to­mor­row.

Fore­caster Dipuo Tawana said the light show­ers were ex­pected only early in the morn­ing, but it will re­main partly cloudy in the two prov­inces through Tues­day.

The depart­ment of trans­port yes­ter­day an­nounced that it had de­ployed 18 819 traf­fic of­fi­cers to en­sure the safety of road users.

The end of the bus strike, which in­con­ve­nienced many at the start of Easter, will come as a huge re­lief for many long-dis­tance trav­ellers.

The Na­tional Union of Metal Work­ers of SA yes­ter­day be­came the lat­est union to ac­cept the wage set­tle­ment – it had ini­tially re­fused the deal.

On Fri­day af­ter­noon, Labour Min­is­ter Mil­dred Oliphant an­nounced that the bus strike is was over as the ma­jor­ity of unions had reached an agree­ment.

The three unions that signed the agree­ment in­cluded the SA Trans­port and Allied Work­ers Union.

In Kwa-Zulu Na­tal a sin­gle ac­ci­dent with ma­jor ca­su­al­ties was re­ported on the road be­tween Mzumbe and Nkandla where 13 peo­ple were killed when a bus over­turned.

Spokesper­son Ish­mael Mnisi said the depart­ment had also sent its road safety aware­ness and education of­fi­cers to ma­jor routes.

These in­cluded the R573 (Moloto Road), the N1 (Laings­burg to Cape Town), the N1 (Tsh­wane to Polok­wane), the N1 (Jo­han­nes­burg to Bloem­fontein), the N2 (Mthatha to Port El­iz­a­beth), the N3 (Jo­han­nes­burg to Dur­ban), the N4 (Tsh­wane to Le­bombo bor­der), the N5 (Win­burg to Har­ri­smith), the N6 (Bloem­fontein to East Lon­don), the N14 (Klerks­dorp to Kim­ber­ley), the N11 (Mid­del­burg to Grob­lers­dal), the N12 (Klerks­dorp to Wol­maransstad), the R61 (Beau­fort West to Mthatha), the R30 (Bloem­fontein, Klerks­dorp and Ven­ters­dorp), the R80 (Mabopane to Tsh­wane), the R378 (Vry­burg) and the R101 (Ham­man­skraal to Polok­wane).

Of­fi­cers will con­duct law en­force­ment op­er­a­tions to en­sure that motorists, pas­sen­gers and pedes­tri­ans com­ply with traf­fic rules.

“South Africans must take note that those who en­gage in drunk driv­ing, ex­ces­sive speed­ing and neg­li­gent driv­ing will be pun­ished,” Mnisi said. Motorists are ad­vised to do the fol­low­ing: Plan their jour­ney in ad­vance; Travel dur­ing the day and not rush; Stick to the speed limit and al­low ex­tra time for their jour­ney; Get a good night’s sleep be­fore they hit the road; and Make sure they take reg­u­lar breaks on long trips be­cause fa­tigue kills.

Mnisi said the depart­ment had in­ten­si­fied its fo­cus on the vi­o­la­tion of traf­fic reg­u­la­tions.

In­struc­tions have been is­sued to traf­fic of­fi­cers to ar­rest those who drive reck­lessly, those who are neg­li­gent and those who speed.

More at­ten­tion is also be­ing paid to pas­sen­ger and pedes­trian safety.

Heavy fines will be is­sued for ev­ery pas­sen­ger who is not wear­ing a seat­belt and if a child is not buck­led up in the cor­rect way.

Road safety of­fi­cers are be­ing placed at points where pedes­tri­ans cross busy roads to help re­duce ac­ci­dents.

Mnisi said mo­bile test­ing sta­tions had been placed at strate­gic points to test the road­wor­thi­ness of ve­hi­cles.


FRUS­TRATED Com­muters wait for the next Metro bus at Gandhi Square in Jo­han­nes­burg. Thou­sands of com­muters had to find al­ter­na­tive trans­port as driv­ers went on strike

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