18 December 2017 Read: 215
Former speaker of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) and Limpopo (MEC) for Transport, Makoma Makhurupetsi, had described the road between Tzaneen and Hoedspruit (R36) as the most dangerous road in the province. This is mostly because of livestock that is left roaming the streets during the night, or pedestrians knocked down while crossing the road. Makhurupetsi said they are contemplating holding talks with the Agriculture Department to hold livestock owners accountable and responsible for accidents caused by animals.
Makhurupetsi, former councillor for the GTM also served as the speaker and EXCO member after the 2000 local government elections before being appointed director in the department of Trade and Industry. After 2009 she was appointed MEC for local government. She is the Mopani chairperson of the region of the ANCWL and member of the PEC in both the ANCWL and the mother body.
She said among the roads that give the department ‘a headache’ is the road between Tzaneen and Hoedspruit, the Burghersfort and the N1 near Thohoyandou, because of stray animals that seemingly have no owners after they had caused an accident. She said they are holding talks with the department of Agriculture so the cattle could be identifiable and owners traced when sought.
According to her, she has never heard of any by-law regulating stray animals on the roads which prompted her to approach the Department. However she pleaded with motorists to remain on high alert when driving on the roads known for accidents caused by these animals roaming the roadways.
“Though the number of accidents on the roads seem to be declining, the past months were not good for the province given the number of people who died as a result of road accidents. When I started in the portfolio on October 25, twelve people died when a taxi collided with a truck while avoiding a donkey on the N1 near Louis Trichard.”
In Tzaneen, places prone to accidents either by pedestrians knocked down or animals likely to cross with no warning signs are Mokgoloboto, Dan, Khujwana entrance, Bridgeway, Khujwana bridge, Tickeyline, Burghersdorp, Julesburg, Lenyenye crossing, Ka Muhlava, Maake Plaza, Metz and especially towards Ofcolaco where game is also likely to cross the road unexpectedly. Bulletin ran two pieces on the dangers faced along the stretch of the R36 towards Ofcolaco, last month. In that instance the Maruleng municipality has promised to have the street lights in working order before the next financial year.
“Though the department is doing all it can to keep motorists and other road-users safe, we appeal to road users to be responsible and patient with those seen to be transgressing the rules of the road. Owners of cattle should help by keeping the animals away from the roads. The 1 400 traffic officers in Limpopo are not enough and we have asked the office of the premier to hire more traffic officers and increase their over-time.” Makhurupetsi concluded.