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Ramaphosa appeals to SA to rely more on public transport to reduce road deaths

Ramaphosa said to assist, government is building more bus rapid transit systems in major cities in order to meet the demand as millions of commuters grow.

President Cyril Ramaphosa pictured at the state funeral of Robert Mugabe on 14 September 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Saturday appealed to South Africans to rely more on public transport in order to reduce road carnage and traffic on the country's roads.

Ramaphosa said to assist, government is building more bus rapid transit systems in major cities in order to meet the demand as millions of commuters grow.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of Transport Month along the N3 outside Heidelberg in Gauteng.

The president admitted that government was still playing catch up in upgrading the public transport sector.

“We are looking to the various bust transit systems to help stimulate urban regeneration by bringing poor communities closer to economic opportunities and urban areas. Our investment in the transport sector over the years has helped transform and improve the quality of life of millions of our people," he said.

Ramaphosa urged motorists to be extra vigilant on the country's roads, especially over the festive season.

He emphasised initiatives like transport month should be extended throughout the year: “To all of us as South Africans, let us take the 365 days much more seriously.”

The president will also use the event to proclaim the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, which he signed into law in August.

AARTO CONSTITUTIONALLY FLAWED

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said governments Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) is constitutionally flawed and will be impossible to implement.

The Aarto Amendment Act includes a driver’s demerit system, which means a motorist could end up losing their license if they violate a number of road rules.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that Aarto would be ready for implementation in June next year.

But Outa's Rudie Heyneke has doubts: “…On the other hand, we don’t believe that that government will be ready. There is going to be rehabilitation programmes, there are going to be service providers, there is certain equipment that is going to be distributed throughout the country. Who is going to pay for that and how are they going to do that?”

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