Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga launches the 2024 National Easter Roads Safety Campaign and raises road user responsibility in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga


Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga launches the 2024 National Easter Roads Safety Campaign and raises road user responsibility in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga (right) and Walter Mngomezulu, Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality (left), at the launch of the 2024 National Easter Road Safety Campaign at Mandla Magudulela Stadium in Mkhondo Local Municipality, Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga, 21 March 2024 – Road safety is the responsibility of everyone, said Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga as she launched the 2024 National Easter Roads Safety Campaign at the Mandla Magudulela Stadium in Mkhondo Local Municipality in Mpumalanga on Wednesday (20 March 2024).

The campaign aims to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities during Easter and beyond. Local priests and traditional healers delivered a prayer at a major accident hotspot, Ajax Truck Stop, to prevent accidents, especially those that claim lives.

The launch was supported by the Road Traffic Management Agency, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), the MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison Mr Vusi Shongwe Minister, traditional leadership and industry bodies, including the Truck Drivers Association, The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the Southern African Bus Operators Association (SABOA).

Speaking at the launch after the prayer sessions, Minister Chikunga said this is not a campaign for the considerable holiday period, but is should be an everyday responsibility for all of us. She said roads are a shared space for which we are all responsible, reiterating the Road Safety Starts With You campaign message.

“We all have the right to life, and no one has the right to threaten and claim that life. Drivers need to adhere to traffic signs and general rules of the road, never drink and drive, and always respect pedestrians. Likewise, pedestrians should respect the road. Parents need to teach children about safe ways of using the road like walking on the side facing oncoming traffic, checking if it is safe to cross the road by looking both ways before crossing and never playing on the road, even when there are no cars.”

Speaking about the reduced fatalities from 14 000 to 12 000 last year, the minister noted that a lack of respect for the road perpetuated this poor progress. “We note that the government has a big part to play in ensuring the safety of the roads. We have Operation Vala Zonke [to fix potholes] and SANRAL, as the leader of the Vala Zonke War Room, has been key in eradicating potholes on our roads. The N2 is one of the roads requiring stringent attention, but SANRAL is in the process of refurbishing this road.

“Likewise, motorists, especially public transport owners, must ensure their vehicles are roadworthy before using our roads. About 69% of buses that have been tested are not roadworthy. As a government, we recognise that good roads help to grow the economy, and that is why we are spending billions of rands to improve our infrastructure and build new roads to move people and goods, also why we have the Vala Zonke campaign, to ensure that our roads are repaired and maintained,” said Chikunga.

In line with the Easter Roads Safety Campaign launched by Minister Chikunga, SANRAL unveiled its partnership with Renault SA, Bakwena, the concessionaire to SANRAL (which falls under the Department of Transport), and the Road Transport Management Corporation. The partnership focuses on road safety, especially on the N1 and N4 that cross through Gauteng, Limpopo and North West provinces over the Easter period.

This road safety initiative is in its twelfth year and SANRAL is proud to be on board as a new partner, said Vusi Mona, SANRAL’s General Manager for Communications and Marketing.

“Road safety is one of SANRAL’s core pillars that underpin its operations and increasingly, we prioritise the use of technology and innovation to improve road safety. This partnership with Bakwena, Renault and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) speaks to the importance of public private partnerships to collectively achieve more. Thanks to Renault, these additional vehicles that will be on the road during the Easter holidays, will significantly aid increased visible policing and the presence of law enforcement,” said Mona.

“As we prepare for the major influx of traffic on our roads during the Easter holidays, we want to remind road users that the road is a shared space and as individuals, we have a responsibility to use that space with the safety and wellbeing and all other road users in mind. It takes one good decision to save a life. So, buckle up, obey the speed limits and make sure both drivers and vehicles are fit for the journey,” said Mona.

Renault South Africa’s commitment to road safety is evident from the high safety standards they apply to all their vehicles. Their Human First Programme is aimed at improving safety of all road users and reducing the number and severity of daily crashes.