It is with great sadness that the IFP received the news of the bus tragedy that claimed the lives of 5 congregants of the 12 Apostles Church who were on their way to a celebratory event in Empangeni on Saturday the 11th August 2018. We are deeply concerned that this is not the first deadly carnage on that same stretch of road. In 2013, a group of maidens attending the traditional Reed dance were also casualties on what has now become known as dangerous terrain. We as the IFP would like the MEC. Of Transport the Hon. Kaunda to answer what safety measures were put in place after the 2013 deadly crash. Had there been adequate safety measures adopted, knowing how dangerous this mountainous terrain is then the recent tragedy could have been avoided. It is indeed a senseless loss of innocent lives especially when one acknowledges that a child was one of the casualties.
We are aware that the congregants were travelling to Empangeni and the tragedy occurred on the R66 between Eshowe and Melmoth.
We call on the HON. MEC. to ensure that there is a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. Even though excessive speed has been cited, this cannot be confirmed at this stage as the driver is one of the injured. The IFP has time and time again spoken about proper road maintenance and safety measures to curb road carnages. The department of transport has to ensure that measures are adopted that will ensure this stretch of road does not continue to claim more lives. Inspectors and engineers need to look at how to prevent further tragedies. We welcome the investigations into this crash and will be following it closely to make sure that the promises following such devastation does not just disappear after some time.
We send out our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the congregants of the 12 Apostles Church and wish the injured a speedy and complete recovery.
Hon. Mr Steven Moodley
IFP KZN Spokesperson for Transport
083 253 2277