DA saddened by Moloto Road deaths

James Masango

Provincial chairperson – Mpumalanga

The DA is deeply saddened by the deaths of 29 people after a bus collided with a truck along the R573 Moloto road near Kwaggafontein on Monday night. We send sincere condolences to the families of everyone involved. They are in our thoughts and prayers.

Reports indicate that the accident, which also left another 23 people injured, occurred when a truck swerved out of its lane and collided with a bus carrying commuters from Pretoria.

There needs to be an urgent investigation to determine exactly what went wrong.

Unfortunately, the R573 is known as a dangerous road. Local residents often refer to it as the “road of death”. It carries more than 50 000 commuters every day.

The DA has on many occasions called for government to alleviate the pressure on this particular road, given that it cannot safely accommodate the current level of commuter traffic.

It is absolutely critical in this regard that government makes a concerted effort to implement the Moloto Rail Corridor Project to alleviate the pressure on this road.

Approved in 2008, the corridor would not only improve the safety of commuters, but would also lay the groundwork for increased economic growth and job creation in the region. Unfortunately the project is still on hold, despite President Jacob Zuma’s promises to the National Council of Provinces that it would form part of the Strategic Integration Projects of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.

For the past few months the DA has been circulating a petition calling for the corridor’s implementation, and we will continue to do so until we have sufficient signatures to submit it to parliament, along with a resolution to call for a debate on the matter.

The DA will intensify our efforts to fight for the plight of motorists and commuters using the Moloto Road by elevating our plea to parliament via our Chief Whip, Watty Watson, and our transport spokespersons.