Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane appealed to road users to exercise caution during the 'long weekend'. Picture: Skyler Reid

Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Thursday appealed to road users to exercise caution during the “long weekend” which kicks off with Freedom Day on Friday.

“As part of the integrated law enforcement plan, our authorities will be on high alert to deal decisively with road traffic violations this long weekend. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and I urge our motorists to ensure compliance with the rules of the road as we approach the long weekend,” said Nkosi-Malobane.

“Road crashes and fatalities contribute to the alarming rate of disabilities and deaths in the province. This is largely attributed to the attitude and behaviour of road users. Substance abuse and vehicle fitness are just some of the challenges that compound the situation on our roads.”

She said pedestrians contribute significantly to the statistics of road fatalities in Gauteng. 

“Pedestrians fatalities, on the other hand, contribute significantly to statistics of road fatalities in the province. The usage of cellphones while driving and earphones whilst walking also cost people their lives in most cases. It is important that our people should refrain from substance abuse and crossing at places that are not safe such as the freeways,” she said.

Long weekends in South Africa are characterised by long distance travelling in and out of the Gauteng province. Pedestrian movement also significantly increases on the roads. 

Freedom Day, which is commemorated on 27 April annually, is a national public holiday in South Africa which marks the first post-apartheid elections held on that day, in 1994, ushering in the new democratic dispensation.

Next week, Tuesday will mark another public holiday – international Workers Day celebrated on May 1.

African News Agency/ANA