Ricochet News

Nzimande visits Port Elizabeth road accident survivor

By Afikile Lugunya - Apr 30, 2018
Nzimande visits Port Elizabeth road accident survivor

The Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, visited Port Elizabeth on Monday as part of his department’s various road safety activations for the long weekend.

His visit comes after the release of the Preliminary 2018 Easter Road Safety last week, which showed that the Eastern Cape Province recorded the fourth highest number fatalities in the country after 59 died on the roads.

Nzimande, who was accompanied by Road Accident Fund (RAF) representatives, took the opportunity to visit a road accident survivor, 32-year-old Jerome Peterson, in Missionvale.

 Peterson, who was involved in a car accident back in 2009, which fractured his spine and left him unable to walk or move, received a specially-made bed from the Department of Transport.

The electrical bed will apparently help him be able to sit up properly.

Patricia Singqomo, the manager of post-claims settlements at the RAF, said that the fund’s representatives came to the knowledge of Peterson’s predicament through the St Georges Hospital.

“We took him to the Aurora Centre, a rehabilitation centre that helped him with counselling so that he would accept his state after the accident,” she added.

“Secondly, we bought a wheelchair, which gives him independence because he is able to drive it on his own.”

The Minister and the press took a tour around the house, which was renovated by Peterson’s parents to be wheelchair-friendly.

Singqomo said that RAF would reimburse the parents when they have provided slips that show how much they spent doing the renovations and what they did.

“We are also doing assessments because his bladder cannot work, so we need to check on it and see if it hasn’t encountered any infections.

“Every month we take him and we give him all sorts of medications that we get from the pharmacy, whenever it’s finished they just supply him and we pay,” she described.

“Three caregivers were appointed and they take turns to look after him.”

In describing the accident, which he said happened on the 22nd of May, Peterson said that it was caused by an impatient driver, who tried to overtake them as well as a vehicle that was driving in front of their car. In the end, the driver of the vehicle, he was travelling in lost control and they rolled with the car.

“With the help of the Road Accident Fund, my life became much better because I did not know how I’d survive through this life; I did not know where I’d go or what I would do, but RAF did everything for me and everything became easy because of them.

“That’s why I’d like to just say thank you for all the service they do for me and more help that they will do for me in the future,” he described.

Peterson told Nzimande of his desire to finish his Matric, to which the Minister said that he would do everything in his power to ensure that he writes his Matric.

“I was very happy when I asked him, what does he want to do and said that he wanted to write his matric, we are going to assist to ensure that he writes his matric,” Nzimande said.

“He can also continue to do a post-school qualification and hopefully in future, he can be able to get a job.”