News

Minister Carlisle Laments a "Brutal, Bloody Night" on Western Cape Roads

20 December 2011

Robin Carlisle, the Minister of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, has described last night as a "brutal, bloody night on Western Cape roads".

"As the night proceeded, so the list of mostly innocent victims steadily rose," Minister Carlisle said.

  • In the very early hours of the morning just outside Leeu Gamka, two light motor vehicles were involved in a head-on collision; two people were killed.
  • An hour later, between Dwyka Bridge and Prince Albert Road, a minibus taxi believed to have been on the wrong side of the road was involved in a head-on collision with a light motor vehicle. A baby in the taxi and four people in the light motor vehicle were killed. Every single passenger in the taxi was seriously injured - all 17 of them - and they were taken to different hospitals around the province.
  • Close to midnight, a pedestrian was killed by the driver of a light motor vehicle in Durbanville, Cape Town.
  • Late yesterday afternoon, a taxi overturned on the R27 just outside Cape Town, killing three passengers.
  • About half an hour later, a pedestrian was killed by a taxi driver on the N1 near De Doorns. A passenger in a stationary taxi whose flat tyre was being changed by its driver left the taxi and crossed the national road and was knocked down and killed.

Minister Carlisle said: "There is only so much the authorities can do; individuals must begin to take responsibility for their own lives as well as the lives of other motorists and pedestrians on the roads."

"As Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said this morning, we are rendering a 24-hour service, but we need the public's contribution."

"The blood-letting will continue until motorists start to slow down, buckle up, stop drinking and driving, leave their cellphones alone and watch out for pedestrians."

"Public transport users must begin to value their own lives and the lives of their fellow passengers by reporting dangerous drivers and vehicles to the authorities. Meanwhile, pedestrians are urged not to walk anywhere on busy roads, to cross only at safe crossing points and to stay away from freeways."

If you witness anyone driving dangerously, please call 021 812 4581 or 021 946 1646.

The ministry has also spoken to Vernon Billet, the Chairman of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) in the Western Cape, who will be approaching all the minibus taxi associations - both owners and drivers - to express his and Minister Carlisle's concern about the high number of fatal crashes involving their members.

Mr Billet will also get a message through to SANTACO volunteers to step up their efforts on the roads and at taxi ranks to get taxi drivers to slow down and to rest whenever the need arises.

"We have asked Chief Africa to remove from the road any overloaded or unsafe taxis and to force taxi drivers that look tired to stop and rest. Any motorist caught endangering the lives of other road users will be summarily arrested."

Media Enquiries: 

Steven Otter
Spokesperson
Cell: 084 233 3811