The Joe Gqabi transport interchange is bracing for thousands of people leaving the city for Easter. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - With the Easter holiday just around the corner and families beginning to prepare for their long weekend road trips, Joe Gqabi Bus Terminus in Philippi, Cape Flats, is already gearing up for an influx of travellers on Thursday.

Gordon Makaluza, the secretary of the Western Cape Long Distance Bus Association, said they were ready for the weekend.

Makaluza said the terminus was no longer having problems with long queues, and urged commuters not to drink alcohol while travelling, “because they tend to force the driver to speed up”.

“We have also communicated with our drivers to behave and to rest when they are tired,” Makaluza said.

On Monday, the Western Cape government and the Department of Transport and Public Works devised a comprehensive enforcement plan aimed at ensuring the safety of residents and visitors.

The 2019 Safely Home Provincial Easter Operational Plan focuses on initiatives such as fatigue management and outlines planned interventions over the weekend.

The plan is geared towards improving safety on roads for the thousands of motorists who will be travelling across the province.

Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said enforcement and awareness interventions had been designed to respond effectively to the expected increases in traffic volumes and vehicle activities that had become synonymous with “this dangerous period”. Grant said the influx would place additional pressure on all law enforcement agencies that monitored and controlled traffic to ensure the effective and safe flow of traffic.

“The last five Easter periods from 2014 have seen an average of 27 fatalities over the Easter weekend,” Grant said.

He called on road users to be conscious of the rules of the road, and to make safety everybody’s responsibility.

“We are seeing too many crashes caused by driver error such as fatigue, speeding and drunk driving. It is your responsibility as a driver on our roads to ensure that both you and your vehicle are ready for the journey ahead,” he said.

Traffic chief Kenny Africa said that as part of its tactical approach to Easter enforcement, “we will be zeroing in on the public transport industry, with a special focus on our successful Driver Fatigue Management programme”.

He also urged road users not to use cellphones while driving.


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Cape Argus