Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal transport department received 170 000 applications for 90 traffic officer jobs, the SABC reported on Tuesday.

Human resources deputy manager Lowell Pelser told a commission of inquiry that the department had expected 30 000 applications, the SABC said.

Pelser testified that the human resources department asked for extra personnel to sift through the applications.

He was testifying in Pietermaritzburg at a commission of inquiry into the deaths of eight people who took part in a four-kilometre run at the city's Harry Gwala Stadium in December 2012.

This formed part of a fitness test for Road Traffic Inspectorate job applicants.

More than 40,000 people qualified to apply for THE 90 advertised Road Traffic Inspectorate trainee posts. Of these, 20,000 attended a fitness test on December 27 and a similar number on December 28.

Human resources personnel had to finalise the list of applicants who had provided the necessary documentation by December 19, but managed to do so only on Christmas Day, the inquiry heard.