Thirty people have died in road accidents across the country over the last two weekends.
Twelve family members, including a child, died after the driver of a taxi they were travelling in reportedly lost control and crashed into an embankment.
The family were travelling back home after attending a traditional ceremony when the accident happened at Kilimon between Underberg and Bulwer.
Three survivors who sustained injuries were taken to hospital.
KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli described the fatal crash as “gut-wrenching and very painful.”
“My heart goes out to the family that lost 12 loved ones in this horrific accident. As the provincial government, we commit to working with the family during this difficult period. I would also like to wish those in hospital a speedy recovery.”
Robert MacKenzie of the KwaZulu-Natal EMS said the minibus came to rest near a river.
Paramedics from several private ambulance services were in attendance along with the KZN EMS.
DRIVER BEHAVIOUR IS KEY
Ntuli added that while investigations into the cause of the fatal crash are still underway, empirical evidence shows that a majority of accidents on the road are a result of human behaviour.
“Road fatalities are a major concern to government; however, it takes society as a whole to ensure that they play their part in curbing the high accident rate.”
He said one death is one too many.
“Far too many lives are lost, and families are adversely affected because of, among others, reckless driving. I urge motorists to be extra cautious on the road and obey the rules of the road.”
DEADLY START TO TRANSPORT MONTH
As part of the 2020 Transport Month programme, Ntuli said the KZN provincial government will be intensifying law enforcement operations and promoting behavioural change on the road through road safety awareness campaigns to educate road users on basic principles of being safe on the road.
Also in KZN, six people were killed and five others injured, following a bakkie rollover on the S61 in the Besters area outside of Ladysmith late on Friday night.
Twelve people died on South Africa’s roads last weekend, bringing to 30 the number killed as South Africa marks National Transport month this October.