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The holiday season has come and all but gone, and again the country is faced with the grim reality that almost 1400 lives were senselessly lost on our roads over this period.

On Thursday morning, transport minister Dipuo Peters announced that 1276 people had lost their lives on our roads since the beginning of December - and then corrected herself at lunchtime to make that 1376.

The mistake arose due to a typing error in the statement prepared for her by officials, she told reporters in Pretoria.

"For the period under review, there were 1147 crashes nationally resulting in 1376 fatalities," she said.

"It should be understood that these are preliminary figures. It is with a great sense of duty and accountability for us as the transport sector to release to the South African public statistics on road crashes and the impact that the crashes have."


That’s almost as bad as the 1465 deaths recorded between 1 December 2012 and 8 January 2013 – and Peters’ use of the term ‘preliminary’ hints that the department might release an even higher figure after next Monday, 13 January. It remains a scary statistic nonetheless, and proof that South African drivers need a big wake-up call.

Gauteng recorded 223 crashes which resulted in 268 fatalities, while KwaZulu-Natal had 237 crashes and the highest number of fatalities, 284.

Limpopo had 112 crashes with 134 fatalities, the Eastern Cape 158 accidents with 190 fatalities, and the Free State 101 accidents and 121 fatalities.

In the Western Cape, 95 crashes resulted in 114 fatalities, the North West had 73 crashes and 88 fatalities, and Mpumalanga had 112 accidents and 134 fatalities.

The Northern Cape had 36 crashes which resulted in 43 fatalities.

Source – Sapa