Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Thoko Didiza File picture: GCIS
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Thoko Didiza File picture: GCIS

Funeral assistance from ministry for Cape farmworkers who died in collision

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Apr 9, 2020

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Cape Town – The Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Ministry will help with funeral arrangements for the six farmworkers who died in a truck crash on Tuesday.

An oncoming truck driver travelling along the N1 between Touws River and De Doorns had allegedly fallen asleep behind the wheel and is suspected to have veered into the wrong lane, colliding with the truck carrying the workers.

Officials initially reported that nine people had died, but yesterday confirmed it was six people.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza sent her condolences to the families and wished a speedy and full recovery for those who were injured.

“What saddens me the most is that one of the deceased was a young lady who was also the mother of 2-year-old twins. I take note that the farm workers met their untimely death on their way to work. 

"These men and women are at the centre of producing food for our nation,” said Didiza.

Her deputy, Mcebisi Skwatsha, joined by provincial legislature member Pat Maraan and executive director of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation, Billy Claasen, yesterday visited the scene, where they laid flowers. 

“The visit was to also to ensure that farm owners who we met with assist with funeral arrangements. There is also an expectation that the provincial Department of Agriculture will provide some sort of support, although it has not yet been determined. 

"We are keeping close contact with the families on any assistance needed,” said Skwatsha.

Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said there was a great deal of pressure on truck drivers, delivery vehicle drivers, and drivers transporting essential services workers. However, road safety was very important.

“If you are a truck driver, sleep well before a trip and take regular rest breaks,” said Madikizela.

Cape Times

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