Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube on Tuesday unveiled 55 trucks to improve pothole repair and roads damaged by floods in the province as part of the October Transport Campaign in the Molweni area.
The trucks, which cost R80 million, are fitted with the latest pothole patching technology and will be distributed to all 11 districts in KwaZulu-Natal. Each district will receive three trucks.
Dube-Ncube said the reason behind launching Transport Month in Molweni was because the area had been heavily affected by floods.
The trucks are equipped to carry material, have toilets, a kitchen and can carry nine passengers. They will also be deployed to fix roads damaged by floods and thereby reduce traffic.
Dube-Ncube was accompanied by the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, and the MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza.
“These trucks will be received by all districts to fix potholes. We have already trained the drivers to operate them. We also urge the community to report any potholes,” said Dube-Ncube.
Prior to the launch, the premier led the law enforcement operation, a roadblock by all agencies on the M13 between Hillcrest and Molweni, under eThekwini metro, to ensure that drivers obeyed the rules of the road.
“This is very concerning. In an hour, out of over 200 cars searched, 39 cars were charged for not following regulations, two of them had expired licences, and 12 had brake problems. Imagine if these roadblocks were not done. Many lives could be lost,’’ said the premier.
She also shared her worry over the police cars that were not working. She revealed that out of about 4 000 cars, more than 1 800 are stuck.
Hlomuka said they will be enrolling more than 4 000 people for driver’s licences (code 8 to code 14) for free.
“As the department, we also want to increase professional driver numbers in South Africa. We don’t want our people to complain about hiring of foreign drivers because South African people don’t have driving licences.”
MEC Hlomuka also urged all stakeholders to come together in reducing high accident rates on the roads.
“Safety is the responsibility of everyone. Drivers and pedestrians must obey the road regulations. If you don’t have a driver’s licence or are drunk, don’t drive because due to that we will lose so many innocent lives,’’ said Hlomuka.
Santaco chairperson Boy Zondi condemned the passengers’ abuse by taxi drivers and revealed that they would soon be introducing smart cards as the payment option in the taxis.
“We also introduced cameras in the taxis to stop passenger abuse during transportation. We heard many complaints that passengers are being abused when boarding taxis,” said Zondi.
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