SANRAL and Northern Cape Government working together for safer roads


SANRAL and Northern Cape Government working together for safer roads

Northern Cape, 23 December 2023 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has joined hands with provincial road authorities to ensure that thousands of travellers using the Northern Cape’s roads to get to families and holiday destinations, do so safely.

SANRAL and the Northern Cape Government have announced that its multi-disciplinary teams would be deployed around the clock to ensure safety and to respond to any calls for assistance from motorists.

These enhanced efforts over the festive period follows the implementation of Operation Vala Zonke, which saw scores of potholes being repaired in the Northern Cape to ensure the safety of motorists.

SANRAL’s Western Region Manager, Randall Cable, said emergency contracts had been awarded to attend to some urgent road safety concerns on certain strategic roads in the Northern Cape, that now fall under SANRAL’s jurisdiction.

“We have appointed emergency teams to conduct route patrols, spot and remove debris, deal with pothole and edge break repairs, and grass cutting to ensure proper sight distances for motorists on these newly incorporated routes. This will address some of the road safety engineering concerns immediately, especially with potholes being a significant road safety risk. Through the Road Incident Management System (RIMS) our RRM teams will be working closely with emergency teams throughout the festive season to respond to any incident on the roads, assist with road closures and reopening of the road once an incident is cleared,” said Cable.

He said various emergency centres will also be operational during this time.

“Road users are also reminded of the various emergency numbers at Central Communications Centres (CCCs). The centre for Kimberley can be contacted on 053 831 1954/5, Calvinia 027 341 1414, De Aar 053 631 0088, Springbok 027 712 2790, Upington 10111 and Kuruman 053 712 0599,” he said.

Cable urged all road users to adhere to the rules of the road in order to increase the safety of this shared space.

“While SANRAL is committed to engineering safer roads, the cooperation of each road user is critical if we are to curb the spate of lives lost on our roads every year. As road users, we need to take individual responsibility to make better road safety choices. From a road authority perspective, we need to create an environment that is more conducive to compliance, rather than seek to blame and punish road users in response to crashes on our roads. Together we can reduce the carnage on our roads,” he said.

With a total of 65 road crash fatalities recorded during the 2021 festive season, the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has revealed that it will focus on high-accident routes in the province, in an attempt to decrease the number of deaths on its roads during the 2022 festive season.

The MEC of Transport,  Safety and Liaison, Nomandla Bloem, launched the Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign on the N14 in Kuruman on 8 December 2022. Bloem said 106 traffic officials will be deployed on the province’s roads during this festive season. “We have identified eight critical accident-prone routes which are the R31, that includes the towns of Hotazel, Kuruman, Danielskuil, Barkley West and Kimberley; the N8 which includes Warrenton, Jan Kempdorp, Hartswater and Taung; the N12 in Kimberley, Warrenton, Modderrivier, Britstown and Three Sisters; the N14 along Kuruman, Kathu, Olifantshoek and Upington; the N8 in Groblershoop and Kimberley; the R385 in Olifantshoek, Postmasburg and Danielskuil; the N10 through Upington, Groblershoop, Britstown and De Aar, and the N1 in Colesberg, Richmond and Three Sisters.

“Although we will be heightening operations along these routes, we urge the public to consider every road in every corner of the province as an area where an accident might occur. Traffic Centres will submit daily reports to the Provincial Office, which will then submit to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) for National consolidation,” said Bloem.

She said that the directive from the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula is to reduce road fatalities by 25% this year.

“Our fatal crashes are caused mainly by human factors. Some of these are driving or walking under the influence of alcohol, speeding, cell phone use while driving, not wearing seatbelts, dangerous overtaking, unroadworthy vehicles, pedestrian negligence, fatigue, vehicle overloading and jaywalking. The most affected road user groups in crashes, according to the 2020 RTMC Calendar Report, are pedestrians and passengers, which constitutes 39.8% and 29.6% respectively. Drivers account for 29.2% of fatalities. As per our analysis, we appeal to our road users to remain vigilant, especially Thursday night until Friday morning and Sunday night until Monday morning, especially between the hours of 4pm and 2am,” Bloem said.

Bloem added that road users who do not adhere to the rules of the road, will be harshly dealt with. “Our operations will involve multi-disciplinary teams and strategies tailor-made for this time of the year. Our broad Operational Plan and Road Safety Education Operations demand that all Law Enforcement Officers and stakeholders be on the roads to ensure we achieve reductions in fatalities and accidents, as always, with a zero-tolerance approach to lawlessness. The objectives of this campaign are to reduce road crashes and fatalities, to focus on road safety education through maximising communication on the enforcement and road safety issues as well as to promote good road user behaviour,” Bloem concluded.