LOOK: KwaZulu-Natal municipalities tighten traffic rules on major roads as busy Easter weekend begins

Published Apr 7, 2023


Durban - Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are enforcing traffic rules on major roads to ensure compliance and to stop Easter weekend road carnage.

Almost all the province's major roads are swarmed by traffic police who are inspecting all passing vehicles with an emphasis on public transport, which carries a large number of passengers.

In anticipation of a surge in traffic using the R66 which connects Eshowe with northern KwaZulu-Natal towns such as Melmoth, Ulundi, Nongoma, Vryheid and Pongola, on Thursday the mayor of uMlalazi local municipality, Queen Xulu, led a pre-Easter road safety campaign along the busy road.

Among the issues of compliance, Xulu and her team focused on were whether vehicles were roadworthy, whether drivers were licensed to drive and whether or not they were driving while drunk.

The R66 has been identified as one of the provincial hot spots for road carnage and the municipality wants to prevent that.

“We care about your safety while you are on the road. It is heartbreaking to see people not reaching their destination or returning to their workplaces.

“It’s all in your hands to ensure that everyone on the road is safe,” Xulu said while conducting the campaign.

In the north-western part of the province, the Dannhauser local municipality also conducted an intensive road safety campaign along the busy R621 which connects it with the coal-mining town of Dundee.

Traffic along that road was expected to peak at about 4pm as travellers from as far as Durban and Johannesburg started making it to their homes for the long Easter weekend.

The chairperson of the community safety committee in the municipality, councillor Busisiwe Langa, said they would monitor their roads throughout the long weekend.

“We are prepared to do anything to ensure that our people are safe on the road and always happy while travelling,” she said.

The Jozini local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal’s far north also conducted an intensive road safety campaign ahead of the Easter holidays.

This was to ensure that vehicles, especially public transport, passing through its shores to places like eSwatini, Mozambique and Umhlabuyalingana were roadworthy.

The picturesque Jozini area is also popular with holidaymakers, which makes it prone to road carnage due to high traffic volumes at this time of the year.

The municipality’s mayor, Mfananaye Mathe, said their operation was called Operation Valingozi and was aimed at stopping road carnage and eradicating crime.

During their operation, which began on Tuesday, about 80 cars were stopped and inspected or searched.

“Other than ensuring road safety, we also wanted to stop criminals as we all know that Jozini is a hot spot when it comes to hijackings and cross-border smuggling.

“We can now assure our visitors that they would be safe while holidaying with us during these Easter holidays,” Mathe said.

At the provincial level, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube conducted a similar campaign in central Durban.

She visited the SADC rank, where taxis to countries such as Lesotho, eSwatini and Mozambique depart from.

Helped by traffic officials, they made sure that all public transport leaving the rank was roadworthy and drivers had all the paperwork to drive their vehicles.

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