Minister Dipuo Peters expected at Willowvale bus accident memorial service

SEPTEMBER 3, 2015

The Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, is expected to attend a memorial service that will be held in Willowvale on Thursday for those who perished in a bus accident at Nkelekethe Village, near the town on Saturday. The accident claimed 36 lives, including six young children and injuring many others.

Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, and Eastern Cape MEC for Transport Weziwe Tikana are also expected at the event.

Masualle has declared the accident - together with a taxi accident that happened on the same day, which claimed ten victims, provincial tragedies.

The Province will host another memorial service on Friday for the victims of the taxi accident.

In the wake of the accidents, the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape has cautioned drivers and called on government to improve rural roads and other infrastructures.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Transport said added that the rate at which road accidents and related fatalities are happening is alarmingly high and should not be tolerated.

"The country should move into the culture of passenger safety by ensuring that vehicles on the road and the drivers are fit for the purpose. It is unfortunate that road fatalities continue to rob families of breadwinners and relatives in the manner we saw over the weekend,” said Chairperson of the Committee, Dikeledi Magadzi.

She sent condolences to the families of those who lost lives in car accidents in the Eastern Cape over the weekend..

“The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and all other relevant law enforcement agencies should up their game and not mostly focus on the festive season. Drivers ought to be alert at all times to the terrain of their localities. If during one ordinary weekend the country loses such a number of lives on the road, then it is the right time to reflect,” she said.