Lejweleputswa roads of death

Leona Kleynhans MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

Stretches of the R70 and R30 roads in the Lejweleputswa and Matjhabeng municipalities are roads of death, statistics reveal.

For the period July 2013 to end of June 2014 this provincial roads network recorded 168 accidents involving 236 vehicles. Ten fatal incidents were recorded resulting in the death of 14 people while another 13 serious incidents resulted in causing serious injury to 40 persons.

Contributing factors to the high accident rate are due to faded and ineligible traffic signage, faded road markings, and no cat’s eyes reflectors installed on the road surface. There is also a prevalence of poor law enforcement with a lack of permanently fixed speed control cameras. Approaching intersections along both roads, especially connecting residential areas, are hardly visible. These need to be clearly marked and must be lit at night.

The R30 is an extremely busy route from Theunissen to Bothaville, and serves as an arterial route to North West Province. On this stretch of road, road barriers have been removed and islands between oncoming lanes of traffic are ill kept.

The state of poor repair and poor law enforcement on Free State roads not only contribute to the province’s economic decline, but it results in unnecessary loss of life and damage to property.

I will today write to Roads MEC, Butana Khompela, to table a rehabilitation programme for these roads before the legislature. I will also urge him to initiate the ‘Roads Audit’ that would assess the state of all Free State main and secondary roads so that we can be best placed to identify urgent road rehabilitation interventions where necessary.

A sound roads infrastructure, coupled with proper traffic law enforcement, will save lives.