Stray animals on the road in OR Tambo, Chris Hani and Amathole districts will be picked up and impounded this festive season by three dedicated state livestock trucks, which were handed over at the province’s annual road safety launch in Mthatha yesterday.
Pemmy Majodina, acting as transport MEC, threatened to ask the department of justice to keep all traffic offenders in jail until January by delaying court matters.
In handing over the trucks, Majodina warned livestock owners: “The government cannot look after stray animals for you.”
Majodina was filling in for transport MEC Weziwe Tikana, who was dealing with a family bereavement.
Majodina and provincial law enforcement authorities advised motorists coming from other provinces to change their attitudes before driving on Eastern Cape roads this festive season. Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga warned that traffic and police officers were ready to paint each town and road “blue” this festive season.
According to the transport department, the province had recorded a 20% reduction in road fatalities last festive season, with 211 deaths compared to the 265 deaths in the previous year.
Yesterday, Majodina said around 645 traffic officers in the province would be deployed, and would be supported by national traffic officers who had been deployed as reinforcements.
She said a mobile testing station would be set up, especially on the treacherous N2 and R61 routes, which account for the largest number of accidents each year.
Majodina said: “We are going to make it a point that we are visible on strategic routes.
“Cars that are unroadworthy will be towed immediately and drivers will be arrested.”
Eastern Cape Liquor Board spokesman Mgwebi Msiya revealed that they had already closed around 400 illegal liquor outlets across the province since last year.
The board has been roped into the safety campaign as a partner by the transport department.
“Alcohol is one of the major contributors in road fatalities, especially at this time of year.
“That is why we are intensifying our efforts over the festive season,” said Msiya. —