Residents of Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) had previously warned government about the dangers of the N2 crossing, but they were ignored, Eyewitness News (EWN) reports.
A truck and a bakkie transporting children collided on Friday afternoon, 16 September 2022, killing 21 people, most of the victims being the minors. The Department of Transport was among the first to respond to the crash, with minister Fikile Mbalula expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, but also saying in part: “Road Safety continues to be a priority of our government. Working with traffic law enforcement at all spheres of government we coordinate our plans to prevent road crashes like these. Their occurrence sends a chilling message to all South Africans to adhere to all road safety laws and corporate with law enforcement.”
PONGOLA RESIDENT SPEAKS OUT FOLLOWING CRASH
Jabu Hansen, a resident from Pongola, shared a tweet, in which they reach out to the Department of Transport and ask for its intervention to prevent any tragedies. The original tweet was from 2019, three years before the crash.
“I am from a small town called Pongola in Northern KZN. We have N2 crossing in the middle of the town, there are no robots to control the traffic and it is only a matter of time before a huge accident that will take many lives happen. The municipality is doing things at a very slow pace and doesn’t seem to comprehend the situation at hand,” Hansen said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has also reacted to the Pongola crash.
“This is yet another sad moment for our country, following the substantial loss of young lives in an Eastern Cape tavern recently. We cannot afford to lose such precious lives under any conditions. I hope the investigation into the Pongola incident will shed light on the cause of this tragedy and help us take better care of our children into the future”, Ramaphosa said.
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