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Peters blasted for early road death stats

The DA says the ministry is releasing the figures prematurely as the reporting period only ends on Monday.

At least 1,300 people have died on South African roads since the start of the festive season. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters will today announce the preliminary festive season road death statistics, but she has already come under fire.

The Democratic Alliance says the ministry is releasing the figures prematurely.

The party's Ian Ollis says the reporting period only ends on Monday, not today.

Ollis says this will then exclude potential fatalities during the busy weekend when many people will return home ahead of schools re-opening next week.

He says this is dishonest and an attempt at damage control because the figures will be the highest in many years.

As of last week, at least 1,300 people had lost their lives on South Africa's roads since the start of the festive season, prompting calls from President Jacob Zuma for motorists to be more responsible.

The Department of Transport says most of the accidents were as a result of head-on collisions.

In September last year, Peters said the country's economy loses R306 billion each year as a result of accidents.