‘This could have been prevented’
The so-called “road of death” added to its long list of victims when it claimed two lives and left dozens injured after a bus reportedly lost control and fell on its side near the Walmansthal crossing, at around 4am.
Thirty-eight people with minor injuries and seven with moderate to serious injuries were treated at the scene and then taken to medical facilities.
The DA Gauteng spokesperson for roads and transport, Janho Engelbrecht, said: “Delays to hand over the Gauteng portion of Moloto Road to the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) for upgrades has perpetuated the death toll on this dangerous road.”
He accused the department of dragging its feet in implementing a decision on the way forward regarding the Moloto upgrades, saying the accident could have been prevented.
“This road is dangerous as it is a single lane and does not have any street lights and has no clear road signs, including speed limits.”
MEC Jacob Mamabolo said the department was saddened by the accident.
“The loss of life on our road has really reached epidemic proportions. We will continue to intensify our efforts to introduce lifesaving driving skills as we believe most accidents can be reduced with better methods of driving.”
Mamabolo said he would engage all bus companies that had contracts with the department to make advanced driving a compulsory skill for their drivers.
He said the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Armscor at the Road Safety Seminar last week had paved the way for the implementation of this requirement.
Mamabolo further announced that the administrative process to hand over Moloto Road to the national Department of Transport had been completed, and the ceremony to mark this transfer would be held tomorrow.
This means that the road will be reclassified as a national road as announced in August and confirmed in October.
The MMC for community safety, Karen Meyer, urged all road users to be mindful of the wet road conditions and to exercise extreme caution when driving under such conditions.
“The department sends out a message of condolence to the families of the bereaved, and wishes those who were injured a speedy recovery.”
She said the circumstances surrounding the accident remained the subject of an investigation by law enforcement agencies.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation meanwhile said rain may have contributed to the crash.