Port Elizabeth, 03 May 2018: The Minister of Transport Dr. Blade Nzimande and Eastern Cape MEC for Transport and Safety, Ms Weziwe Tikana, led several road safety activation programmes in Port Elizabeth as part of escalating road safety over the long weekend and in general .
The MEC visited the Addo Road Bridge in Motherwell, a project of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), where a group of volunteers formed a guard of honor displaying road safety messages. She was later joined by the Minister to visit a family of a road accident victim in Missionvale and later visited the Raymond Mhlaba Indoor Sports Centre to meet with families who lost loved ones to road accidents and are beneficiaries of the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
The activation formed part of the long weekend of Freedom Day and Workers’ Day celebrations on 1 May and saw the Department’s agencies RAF, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Cross Boarder Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) and SANRAL taking part in the initiative.
The Minister’s visit to the Eastern Cape follows the release of the 2018 Preliminary Easter Road Safety report in Cape Town over a week ago. The report indicated that the province had the fourth highest fatalities in the country with 59 people having lost their lives.
A Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) report of 2015/16 outlined a number of hazardous locations and 11 of those locations are in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We took a decision to come to this area amongst the areas identified on the RTMC report. The programme started on the 24th of April and we are closing it today. We are providing road safety education, road blocks, search and seizures, and we were also patrolling throughout the night.” said the MEC on the week-long road safety activation.
One of the focal areas highlighted in the report is the area of pedestrian safety. This resulted in the Province and the District identifying Addo Road as one of the hazardous locations which require road safety intervention.
SANRAL has prioritized Addo Road and included it in its plans to effect traffic calming measures. This initiative demonstrates a perfect integration and collaboration of Transport entities and law enforcement authorities working together with the community to improve service delivery in Road Safety.
“SANRAL is extending the dual carriageway in Motherwell to facilitate turning movements and improve various intersections to eliminate some of the conflicting traffic movements. SANRAL will also be providing pedestrian facilities alongside the dual carriageway sections in Motherwell to reduce motor vehicle-pedestrian conflict, and we will be improving the Motherwell N2 Interchange to improve the capacity of the interchange and try to eliminate the backing up of vehicles on the N2 during afternoon peak hour,” said SANRAL Acting Regional Manager for the Eastern Cape, Mr Craig Mclachlan, on efforts made by the agency to reduce road fatalities and enhance pedestrian safety on Addo Road.
The project value of the 27-month long road upgrade of the R335 from Motherwell to Addo is estimated at R780 million. The project scope includes upgrading urban and rural road sections and constructing new bridges over Coega and Sunday’s River. This includes the extension of the current dual carriageway section through Motherwell, as well as improvements to the N2 St Georges / Motherwell interchange.
“We need to ensure that budget allocation to roads is not only used to construct new roads, we need to ensure that existing roads are maintained because if we don’t do so, these roads become a hazard,” said the Minister on how current road fatalities can be reduced.
Minister Nzimande, the MEC and CEOs of the Department’s road entities and law enforcement officers also engaged with motorists, passengers and pedestrians on the N2 towards Colchester highlighting and emphasising the importance of their safety on the road during the long weekend.
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