The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mr. Mxolisi Kaunda, has called for strict adherence to road traffic laws as the death toll has risen to 14 in the Ntunjambili bus crash.
Yesterday evening, Kaunda, who visited the scene of the bus accident on P15 between Kranskop and Nkandla, was briefed by the Ntunjambili hospital management, which confirmed that an additional two people have passed away.
This is in addition to 12 people who died on the scene, when a bus driver failed to negotiate with a bend, subsequently losing control.
A multi-disciplinary team from SAPS collision unit, the Road Traffic Inspectorate and Public Transport Enforcement Services from the Department of Transport will continue with their thorough investigation.
More work including the reconstruction of the scene, thorough mechanical assessment and general condition of the bus will unfold over the next days. Looking at the possibility of overloading and inexperienced driver will also form part of the investigation.
“We are deeply saddened by this horrific bus crash. We are further disturbed by the fact that the death toll has now risen to 14, all of the victims were females. We hope and pray that the scores of those who are injured and are still in hospital will stabilise and recover soon. I still find it difficult to come to terms with what I saw at the scene and the trauma felt by some of the family members who were there. We once again send our deepest condolences to all the affected families. We are also calling on traffic enforcement agencies to close the ranks by punishing all road traffic violations during the Easter holidays and beyond,” said Kaunda.
The bus was transporting people from Bulwer (Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality) to eNkandla for a traditional wedding.
Kaunda together with KwaMaphumulo Mayor, Cllr Zibiyile Khuzwayo-Dlamini, also received a request from the community members, who informed them of their fear due to high rate of accidents in the area.
Subsequent to the request, Kaunda has assigned a team of engineers to conduct a thorough investigation and assessment on how to improve safety on this particular road. “The topography in the area is very steep.”
However, a team has been assigned to urgently start conducting an inspection and advise on safety measures needed to save the lives of the people using this road. This will involve exploring possibilities of adding speed calming measures, more visible signage and retainer walls in some parts of the road. We also appeal to motorists to adhere to road rules and observe signs, because it is clearly marked that the speed limit cannot exceed 40 on this part of the road,” concludes Kaunda.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, working with the affected local municipality is working on a plan to meet with the affected families to provide all necessary assistance (details of which will be released shortly).
Today, Sunday (16 April 2017) MEC Kaunda is attending the funeral of five people who died in a horrific crash in uMzumbe, South coast of KwaZulu-Natal.