File picture: KZN EMS
Johannesburg – The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has urged the authorities to clamp down on unroadworthy vehicles to reduce road deaths. 

Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said in a statement the organisation was saddened that 12 people died in bus crash in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands on Saturday when the brakes on the bus allegedly failed. 

“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the horrific accident and wish the 15 passengers admitted at Ntunjambili Hospital with injuries a speedy recovery,” he said. Mahlangu urged the authorities to clamp down on unroadworthy vehicles to reduce the carnage on public roads. 

“One death on our roads is a death too many.” He also appealed to transport operators to ensure that their fleet was roadworthy before vehicles took to the road. On Saturday, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said 12 people were killed and 15 others seriously injured in a horror bus crash on a rural road in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands in the first major road crash since the start of the Easter holidays. 

“The crash happened on [the] Middelsdrift Road between Kranskop and Inkandla this morning [Saturday] when a bus that is believed to have been transporting people to a traditional wedding went down a steep embankment,” RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said. The RTMC was investigating allegations that the bus was in an unroadworthy condition. 

“It has been alleged that the driver was on his way from the village named Homestead to Vumbu when he lost control over the bus. The bus left the road, overturned, and rolled down an embankment for at least a 100 metres before coming to [a] rest. “The precise cause of the crash is still being investigated. A case of culpable homicide is being investigated by the SAPS [South African Police Service] in Kranskop,” Zwane said. 

According to a statement on the Arrive Alive website, KwaZulu-Natal health department emergency medical services (EMS) paramedics responded to the scene just before 11am. Paramedics treated a total of 15 patients at the scene. Eight patients were in a critical condition while the remaining seven patients were seriously injured. 

The injured were stabilised at the scene before being transported to hospital for continued medical care. The bus had been travelling from Bergville carrying 27 passengers, the statement said.