Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. File photo: ANA/Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Saturday called for strict observance of all road rules following the deadly crash on the N1 freeway in Pretoria, which claimed at least seven lives.

"We encourage all road users not only to observe, but also to obey all the rules of the road and ensure they behave responsibly at all times. Roads are a shared space that all users must utilise responsibly. Road safety is also everyone’s responsibility, without exception. It starts with you,” said Mbalula.

The accident happened between the Pumulani Plaza and Wallmansthal in the Hammanskraal area on Friday.
 
Seven people were killed and three were critically injured in the multiple vehicle crash. The accident is believed to have been caused by heavy smoke from veld fires in the area.

South Africa has recently experienced a spate of road crashes that have claimed numerous lives in different provinces in the past few weeks.

Mbalula on Saturday extended "heartfelt condolences" to the families of the seven people who lost their lives, and wished the  injured a speedy recovery.

The transport minister has instructed traffic law enforcement to intensify stringent operations across the country in the effort to reduce crashes and deaths through among others, high visible policing and harsh penalties, including the prosecution of traffic law transgressors.

In a separate statement, Gauteng public transport and roads infrastructure MEC Josef Mamabolo called for extraordinary interventions following the deadly Hammanskraal accident.

"I believe that we need extraordinary interventions and a new paradigm shift to reduce the rate of fatalities on our road network," Mamabolo said. 

He extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the seven people who died in the accident. 

"We are saddened by the multiple vehicles accident which claimed seven lives. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wish the injured a speedy recovery. One death on our roads is one too many,” Mamabolo said.

"We cannot emphasise enough the importance of exercising caution on the roads. It is unfortunate that the accident happened on the eve of the Transport Month campaign aimed at highlighting road safety issues among others. "

The department, in conjunction with all five municipalities in the province, met on Friday in a bid to find solutions that would make Gauteng roads safe and less congested, he said. 

African News Agency (ANA)