Fik­ile must fol­low up on his threat

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

Trans­port Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula is known for blow­ing hot air. His self-ap­pointed nick­names in­clude Mr Razzmatazz, Mr Fear­fokol and now Mr Fix. Who will ever for­get how he urged the Spring­boks to “gaan moer hulle” be­fore they left for the Rugby World Cup in 2011 when he was the sports min­is­ter. Or, also as sports min­is­ter, how he la­belled Bafana Bafana “a bunch of losers” after a dis­mal show­ing at the Caf African Na­tions Cham­pi­onships on home soil in 2014.

As po­lice min­is­ter, on more than one oc­ca­sion, he vowed to cut crime, while he has also flip-flopped on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions with re­gards to the con­tro­ver­sial e-toll sys­tem, most re­cently an­nounc­ing we would have clar­ity on gov­ern­ment’s stance on the fu­ture of the e-tolls be­fore Christ­mas. December 25 has come and gone.

But, dare we say it, Mbalula made some sense this week when he de­clared a war on mo­torists who drive while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

“It can’t be busi­ness as usual. Drunken driv­ing ... it’s a mess. It causes car­nage,” Mbalula told eNCA. “Drunken driv­ing is a mess for our coun­try and I in­tend to clamp down heav­ily in terms of the law. I want to put them in jail for drink­ing and driv­ing.”

While fa­tal­i­ties on the road over the last month are down com­pared to pre­vi­ous years, it is early days yet. New Year’s Eve is to­mor­row, and a num­ber of mo­torists will be head­ing back from their hol­i­days over the next few weeks.

“There are cul­prits who are per­sis­tent in do­ing things like drink­ing and driv­ing … Los­ing one life is too many,” Mbalula told SABC.

He is right. One life lost, is one too many. Com­ing up with harsher sanc­tions for those that don’t obey the rules on our roads is a must.

How­ever, ac­tions speak louder than words. Let’s hope this time Mbalula backs up what his mouth is say­ing.

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