Fields Hill tragedy: MEC must appear before Transport portfolio committee

Radley Keys, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal calls on Transport portfolio committee chair, Mxolisi Kaunda to summon MEC, Willies Mchunu, to brief its members following last week’s horror accident on Field’s Hill.

The MEC has announced that a task team will present alternatives on the use of this road by heavy vehicles by the end of the week.  Not only will the DA hold him to this, we also expect him to include the portfolio committee as a part of this process.

The DA has, at provincial legislature level, consistently raised the danger of Field’s Hill being used by heavy vehicles for eight years.  For at least four years Councillors Rick Crouch, Warwick Chapman and Tim Brauteseth, along with the Durban Chamber of Commerce, have campaigned to completely remove heavy duty trucks from Fields Hill and force them onto the N3 toll road.  We have also sent expert traffic studies, numerous different proposals and letters to the MEC regarding this issue.

We have never received any feedback.

The MEC has the power to restrict the use of specific roads to certain vehicles only.  The Western Cape has used this legislation to reclassify particular roads in that province to restrict the use of heavy vehicles.

The MEC should be responsive to the needs and demands of road users in KwaZulu-Natal.  He should not ignore them.  It is time that he listened to what is being said.