James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
The DA will today write to the Speaker of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Mr William Lubisi, requesting a debate on a matter of urgent public importance under Rule 90(1) of the Rules and Orders; regarding the R573 Moloto Road, Monday’s horror bus accident, and the implementation of the Moloto Rail Corridor initiative.
The DA today visited survivors of Monday’s accident, where 30 people tragically lost their lives, and laid a wreath followed by a prayer service at the scene.
The DA is deeply concerned over these, and so many other needless deaths along this stretch of road, and the effects it has on thousands of households who have lost loved ones to road accidents over the years.
Ironically this road, which has widely become known as the “Road of Death” holds the only key to better life for the people of this area, who are forced to commute to Gauteng every day, as there are limited job opportunities in Mpumalanga’s remotest corner.
Every weekday morning, tens of thousands of people are up at 03h00 to get to bus stops on time in order to earn a living, only to get home again long after dark.
Recognising this, and the havoc it plays on peoples’ quality of life, the DA has since 2001 been calling for the implementation of the Moloto Rail Corridor, which would not only provide a cheaper and safer transport alternative, but also pave the way for sustainable economic development and job creation in the area.
We have submitted a number of motions, written and oral questions to Parliament and the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature over the years, only to see government shelve the project in 2008, with vague references made to its implementation by President Jacob Zuma as well as premiers Ndaweni Mahlangu, Thabang Makwethla and David Mabuza.
Enough is enough. How many more people must die before this government takes decisive action to reduce the traffic congestion on along this road?
Given that the next sitting of the house is on Friday December 6, and that it is the last of the year, the DA believes that this is too late, and that an extraordinary sitting be convened at a sooner date.
Monday’s horror crash is the last straw, and the DA cannot sit by and watch as thousands leave home every morning knowing that they may not return.