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‘Bus strike contributed to Easter road deaths’

Statistics released by the Transport Department on Friday show that the total number of fatalities increased by 51%.

FILE: Picture: @Netcare911_SA.

JOHANNESBURG - The Transport Ministry says it believes last week's bus strike contributed to the increase in car accidents and fatalities over the Easter long weekend, because more vehicles, some of them unroadworthy, were on South Africa’s roads.

Statistics released by the department on Friday show that the total number of fatalities increased by 51% from 156 over the same period in 2016 to 235 this year.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi says a significant increase in the number of vehicles on South Africa’s roads during Easter contributed to the number of crashes and deaths.

“This Easter period saw a remarkable increase in the number of vehicles on our roads. The total number of registered vehicles on 31 March 2017 was over 12 million compared to some 11 million in the same period in 2016.”

His deputy Sindisiwe Chikunga says she strongly believes this was as a result of last week’s bus strike, as more roadworthy vehicles were on the roads.

“This actually increased the number of cars that were transporting people and that’s why today we’re talking about motor vehicles contributing 49%.”

Metalworkers union, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa called off its nationwide strike by bus drivers after accepting a 9% wage offer on Saturday last week.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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