MEC must insist on stricter taxi/bus driver safety rules on KZN roads

Issued by Sharon Hoosen, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport
08 Jun 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has called on KZN’s Transport MEC, Sipho Hlomuka to insist that the South African Taxi Council (SANTACO) and bus operators in the province implement stricter driver safety measures.

The call comes after a serious crash in Verulam yesterday, which claimed the life of one person and left scores of learners injured. According to reports, a taxi was transporting 44 children to school when it collided with the rear of another vehicle.

A seven-year-old girl was critically injured while a 31-year-old man was declared dead on the scene. SAPS are investigating a case of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

The DA extends its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. We also wish the little girl a speedy recovery.

The blatant disregard for the safety of other road users by many taxi and bus industry drivers, along with the overloading of their vehicles, remains of extreme concern to the DA.

Fatal crashes involving taxis in particular have become an almost daily occurrence in our province. It appears that they, along with drivers employed by bus operators, have their own set of rules despite many innocent lives being in their hands every day.

This reckless behaviour includes speeding, overtaking when it is not safe to do so, overloading and unroadworthy vehicles. This has to stop and both taxi and bus associations need to play a more hands-on role in educating their drivers.

While additional and visible law enforcement is needed to curb this scourge, those who place these drivers on the road must also take accountability for the quality of drivers they employ. This demands a joint effort from government and public transport operators if it is to make a difference.

The time has come for the manner in which these associations and businesses operate to change. MEC Hlomuka must now identify the issues and work towards making our province an accident-free zone.