Government must minimise impact of trucks on KZN roads

Issued by Francois Rodgers, MPL – Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature
21 Sep 2022 in Press Statements

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal will be investigating possible changes in legislation aimed at reducing the impact of heavy vehicles on the province’s roads.

The move comes following several horrific accidents involving trucks resulting in significant loss of life, including the deaths of 18 primary school children near Pongola last week.

The DA is taking action in the absence of intervention by both the national and provincial ANC government along with their inability to accept or acknowledge the challenges faced by KZN’s road users on a daily basis.

Yesterday, Acting Premier Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu admitted that there has been a five-fold increase in heavy duty traffic on the Pongola road alone – from 1 000 trucks to 5 000 per day. She even went so far as to question why the local and district government authorities had not acted. Clearly the Acting Premier does not fully understand how the process works.

The reality is that despite the growing crisis on our roads, KZN’s ANC-run government has not bothered to review legislation for many years. This is an unacceptable situation which must be rectified.

Many of KZN’s roads were simply not built for the type and volumes of traffic that are now using them. Proposed legislation changes that the DA will be looking into include;

– Enforcing trucks to use the left-hand lane only

– Limited, off peak travel times for heavy duty vehicles and;

– Restricted access for heavy duty vehicles on certain roads.

The DA has today submitted a written parliamentary question to KZN Transport MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, (view here) requesting, amongst others, information around traffic volumes – in particular heavy vehicles – and asking what government intends doing about re-introducing rail freight in the province.

The dire conditions on KZN’s roads can no longer be ignored by a provincial government and Transport Department that are quite simply asleep behind the wheel.

The DA remains committed to ensuring that the current disastrous situation is addressed on behalf of KZN’s people who can no longer take their lives into their hands every time they travel.