Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, has once more urged motorists who will be travelling during this Festive Season to use the road cautiously.
Shongwe was reacting after receiving reports that so far the operations in line with Festive Season Road Safety Plan that is currently underway, were proceeding smoothly.
The MEC has been briefed that so far the law enforcement officers have stopped and checked over 72 000 vehicles in various operations which include block patrols, speed operations and in weighbridges.
About 22 000 of the stopped vehicles went through various weighbridges across the province. Over 14 000 summonses were issued to motorists for various offenses ranging from reckless driving, faulty vehicle mechanism to other moving traffic violations. About 227 vehicles were also discontinued for defects.
The officers impounded over 400 vehicles. Most of the impounded vehicles were released once the owners and drivers fully complied by reducing their loads. Twelve motorists were also arrested for drinking and driving so far.
Some of the busiest routes include N3 which connects Mumalanga, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, N2 between Ermelo and Mkhondo, N4 toll road from Gauteng leading to Mozambique and eSwatini. These routes carried about 2000 vehicles per hour over the weekend.
Other routes such as N11, N17 R40. R573, and R38 are also some of the busiest roads that have been reported so far. The traffic volumes are expected to surge this coming weekend as most people will be travelling to various destinations for Christmas long weekend.
Meanwhile, the MEC has noted some of the challenges reported at Lebombo Border Gate which include crimes committed towards the truck drivers queueing towards the border gate. This also include allegations of kidnapping and robbery.
Shongwe applauded the police under the leadership of Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela for their efforts in rescuing the victims from alleged kidnappers and their response so far to crime since the beginning of the holiday season.
“We appreciate the police in the province who continue to swiftly respond to crime. We believe that with new and additional constables unveiled today by Commissioner Manamela, a positive impact on crime prevention will be made during this season and beyond.”
“We also encourage our law enforcers to continue working hard in order to reign in on errant driver behavior and bring to book those who are not obeying the rules,” says Shongwe.
The MEC also appealed to those who will be taking to the road this week to comply with the rules.
He has also called on truck and other drivers travelling through the Lebombo Border Gate and other ports of entries in the province to be patient with delays and also cooperate fully with officials processing them.