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Bring drunk driving limit to 0, says Mbalula as accidents cost SA R168bn

During his festive season safety announcement, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said government had met its target to decrease road deaths by 10% compared to the same period the previous year.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The transport ministry said fatal crashes and other accidents cost the economy about R168 billion last year.

During this festive season safety announcement on Friday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government had met its target to decrease road deaths by 10% compared to the same period the previous year.

However, the government failed to honour its commitment to the United Nations to decrease road fatalities and injuries by 50%.

There were over 1,300 fatal crashes on the country’s roads. These cases, as well as non-fatal incidents, cost the country over R160 billion.

But what exactly was that money spent on? Mbalula said the department often had to foot the bill after an accident.

“When someone is involved in an accident, they don’t go to their insurance to claim but instead go to the RAF (Road Accident Fund). That person claims for anything. The RAF is dealing with claims of people who are covered and it eats at the economy.”

Mbalula said the department needed to curb road deaths in order to save taxpayers money.

He added that bringing the alcohol limit to zero might decrease road deaths.