New rules for bakkie transport

2014/05/14 durban. A bakkie picking up kids after school . PICTURE: SIYANDA MAYEZA

2014/05/14 durban. A bakkie picking up kids after school . PICTURE: SIYANDA MAYEZA

Published Mar 23, 2015


Durban - Following yet another horrific bakkie crash involving schoolchildren in the province on Thursday, KZN Transport MEC, Willies Mchunu has confirmed that his department was looking at amending regulations to make it illegal for bakkies to transport passengers.

This comes after several accidents in the province that have either claimed the lives of schoolchildren, or left them seriously injured.

The most recent accident happened in Port Shepstone on Thursday, when 20 children being transported to school were injured.

Mchunu said on Friday the department had received reports that two children from Ladysmith died in a separate bakkie accident while on their way to school recently.

“We are deeply saddened that children continue to get hurt while they travel to and from school in unsafe modes of transport,” the MEC said, adding that the department had been advocating for community members to stop using bakkies to transport schoolchildren because the vehicles are not certified to do so.


“This is a national issue which is also driven by the national department to come up with legislation which will avert such accidents. We are looking at amending the regulations to make it illegal for bakkies to transport passengers,” he said.

The issue of schoolchildren being overloaded and transported by bakkies was thrown under the spotlight in January when eight Fezokuhle Primary School pupils were killed after the driver lost control of the bakkie they were travelling in and crashed into a house.

Seventeen others were seriously injured. Some of the injured have since been discharged from hospital, while others continue to fight for their lives in ICU.

It was established then that at least 26 children were being transported in the bakkie when the accident occurred.

The bakkie driver, Lungi Mthimkulu, 33, is yet to be charged in connection with the accident.

According to one of the investigating officers, the forensic lab in Pretoria is still processing evidence related to the roadworthiness of the bakkie.

This evidence is likely to take several weeks to process.


Families of the victims told the Daily News yesterday they were very upset that investigations were taking such a long time to finalise.

They also expressed disappointment that Mthimkhulu, who was discharged from hospital last month after suffering serious injuries in the accident, had still not approached them with an apology or explanation for what had happened.

Thabisile Shezi, whose 10-year-old daughter, Yolanda, was killed, said all she wanted was closure. “Only once Lungi has either been arrested or cleared of any wrongdoing, then I will be able to rest,” she said.

It is believed Mthimkulu has gone to ground following her discharge from hospital, in fear for her safety after allegedly receiving threats from community members.

Meanwhile, the house into which the bakkie crashed has been rebuilt. Owner Sibusiso Ngubeni said insurance contractors had completed rebuilding the house this month, but the family would carry the emotional scars for the rest of their lives. “Children died in our home. That is something we can never forget,” he said.


Ngubeni said following the accident he had approached his ward councillor to install speed-calming measures to prevent any further accidents.

Daily News

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