The IFP calls on the KZN MEC of Transport, Bheki Ntuli to urgently address the issue of overloading that prevails in the taxi industry.
This follows the death of 7 people in a minibus accident on the R102. Fifteen others sustained injuries and had to seek medical care. It is clear that the taxi was overloaded and rolled down an embankment. This overloading has undoubtedly contributed to the accident and needs to be addressed as overloading is a contributory factor that leads to the alarmingly high number of fatalities on our province’s roads.
Urgent steps must be taken to curb this dangerous practice that dominate the taxi industry. For far too long, this dangerous and illegal practice has placed the lives of road users at risk. The Department of Transport has failed to enforce the rule of law in the taxi industry resulting in the industry assuming that they are above the law.
Taxi associations must work in partnership with the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Inspectorate in conducting road blocks and random checks at taxi ranks. Our call is also extended to bus companies. We do not believe that road safety should be a priority only during the festive season. People die daily on our roads and the MEC must harness all resources to tackle the challenges of carnage on our roads 365 days a year.
The IFP calls for the immediate arrest of the driver of the overloaded taxi. Campaigns have clearly failed to highlight the dangers of overloading. Passengers themselves are complacent and are willfully jeopardizing their own safety. It is time to adopt a tough stance against taxi drivers and conductors who encourage overloading and other dangerous practices.
We believe that drivers involved in overloading must be charged with manslaughter. Lives are placed at risk by those greedy taxi bosses and drivers who put money before the safety of passengers.
The IFP records its heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those injured a speedy and complete recovery.
Hon. Steven Moodley, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Transport
083 253 2277