Minister Simmers condemns road user behaviour on Clarence Drive | Western Cape Government



Minister Simmers condemns road user behaviour on Clarence Drive

29 December 2023

Media Release by Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers

The Western Cape Department of Infrastructure received complaints about near head-on collisions in the stop-and-go sections on Clarence Drive. An immediate investigation was launched and points men, radios as well as barriers and delineators were all found to be in place.

The investigation revealed a worrying trend. Road users simply stop in the closed sections to take walks, take pictures, go to the water’s edge, and the like. Once done, they simply rejoin traffic irrespective of which direction traffic is coming from. This has led to several near head-on collisions.

The Department of Infrastructure wishes to inform road users that the closed sections are not designated parking spots but are closed for safety reasons. These sections of the road have suffered structural damage and are not safe to use. The damage is, in many cases, not visible to the naked eye and lies beneath the surface.

To mitigate this unlawful behaviour, the department has appointed additional flagmen along closed sections.

Speaking on the severity and implications of this unlawful behaviour, provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, said: “I am extremely concerned about this reckless trend. Should it persist, we have two other options left. One is to have escort vehicles in place, that will escort a group of vehicles through the closed sections to ensure all vehicles move through the various points before letting traffic through from the opposite direction. Not only will this have a significant cost implication but could result in an additional 45 - 60 minutes in travel time along this route."

"The other option is a full closure again of Clarence Drive. This will have a severely negative impact on the area from a traffic flow and economic perspective. While this will remain our last resort, our top priority must be the safety of all road users. I am calling on road users to please take the risk seriously and act responsibly. I have contacted the Overstrand Municipality and there will be an increased presence of traffic and law enforcement officers along the route to root out dangerous road user behaviour,” added Minister Simmers.

Clarence Drive was reopened on 11 December 2023 with six stop-and-go sections with single lane traffic accommodation. This came after this scenic route suffered serious damage because of several significant landslips and rockslides during the Heritage Day long weekend floods. Clarence Drive is a vital economic connector between Gordon’s Bay and the coastal towns of Rooiels, Betty’s Bay, and Pringle Bay.

“I was excited to reopen the road along with having traffic accommodation removed at Palmiet Bridge allowing two-way traffic and completing works at the R43/R44 intersection. However, that excitement has turned to disappointment due to the current situation playing itself out. Not only is this road scenic and of great value to the tourism industry, but it is also a vital economic connector for the area. Should it be necessary, closing it again, due to the disregard of road safety, would be incredibly disheartening,” Minister Simmers continued.

Current indications are that repairs to this route will cost close to R80 million. This cost includes repairs to the Palmiet Bridge, which also sustained damage. The project is currently projected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

Media Enquiries: 

Jandre Bakker

Head of Communication

Department of Infrastructure



Mr. Ntobeko Mbingeleli

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

021 483 8067 (o)

061 447 7851 (m)