The Department of Transport spent over R5-million on reflective animal belts, because stray animals, especially cattle, can cause serious damage to lives and vehicles when they are involved in accidents on the road.
Acting MEC for Transport in Limpopo, William Ntlatla, said they bought reflector belts for animals at a cost in excess of R5 million, however Blouberg cattle owners have failed to make use of the belts.
Ntlatla made this statement during a campaign held at Ga-Machaba village with regard to road safety during the festive season.
According to the department, the campaign serves as a way to engage with Blouberg farmers and give away animal reflective belts and ear rings.
“We urge our communities to work with us and ensure that we do not have stray animals on our roads.” said Ntlatla.
“Stray animals on our roads are a huge concern as we have lost many lives as a result. Together we need to take an active role in dealing with stray animals as it is our collective responsibility. We need to guide our animals away from the roads and let them graze freely far away from our roads.”
Sergeant Pebetsi Kwapa, from the Polokwane Stock Theft Unit, urged herd owners to brand the animals as stock theft statistics continue to rise every day.
“According to the law, an animal which is not branded does not have an owner. Working together in branding our animals can help to reduce the percentage of stock theft,” said Kwapa.
4000 belts distributed during Transport Month
The danger of stray animals also took centre stage during Transport Month in Limpopo.
Provincial Roads and Transport MEC Lehlogonolo Masoga committed to hold meetings with livestock owners, traditional leaders and community members to address the issue.
“Stray animals causing accidents remain a concern on our roads. We will be meeting with communities during our outreach campaigns, where we will address the issue of stray animals extensively,” he said at the time.
MEC of Transport in Limpopo, Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, distributed 4000 reflective animal neck belts to livestock owners during the launch of Transport Month 2016.
The department has, to date, distributed approximately 150 000 reflective animal neck belts to livestock owners since 2009.