Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA

Polokwane - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will on Tuesday meet Limpopo traffic officials in Polokwane following fatal crashes in the province over the long weekend.

"Minister Mbalula will engage officials on the steps that will be taken to curb reckless driving on our roads. The minister will also inspect a roadblock on the N1 and visit the injured in hospital," the department's spokeswoman Ayanda-Allie Paine said.

Thirty six people, including 24 youngsters returning from Youth Day commemorations addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Polokwane, died in horrific accidents in the province. The overloaded minibus taxi the youth were traveling collided with a bus along the R81 road near Giyani on Sunday. The 25th passenger in the taxi is in hospital after sustaining serious injuries. In the bus, the driver and two passengers sustained serious injuries.

Another crash on the same road early on Sunday claimed six lives when two cars collided head-on. One of the cars caught fire and burned down with two occupants trapped inside. 

Ramaphosa on Monday expressed devastation and sadness at the death of the 24 youngsters.

"The deaths of these people is heartbreaking. It is absolutely devastating to lose so many young lives in this manner. On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, I send our deepest condolences to the bereaved families during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the injured, we wish them a speedy recovery," he said in a statement.  

African News Agency/ANA