Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Report Blames Pongola Accident Driver

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Report Blames Pongola Accident Driver

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula Report Blames Pongola Accident Driver

According to the Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, the driver was at fault in the horrific Pongola accident that claimed the lives of 21 persons, mostly children.

After the truck collided with a bakkie transporting schoolchildren on Friday of last week, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) took the lead in the investigation. Nineteen kids, a teacher’s helper, and two adults—the bakkie driver and an adult passenger—perished.

Speaking to the media, Mbalula stated that the investigation revealed that the truck driver had crossed numerous lanes of no-overtaking traffic, which is dangerous and illegal.

“This driver carelessly passed cars and traveled 1.2 kilometers on the opposing lane. The Minister stated that these automobiles had to swerve to avoid the approaching truck.

According to the report, the driver did not move back into his proper lane after leaving the site of the collision. He nevertheless persisted in driving against the flow of traffic, endangering the lives of other drivers.

According to the report, driver error is the primary contributing factor to the accident’s primary cause.

Transporting students in the back of a light-duty vehicle (LDV) is also forbidden and “very” risky, according to Mbalula.

The Minister claims that the National Road Traffic Act of 1996’s Regulation 250 prohibits the carriage of students or any other person for compensation in the goods compartment of a motor vehicle.

He announced to the media that the Senior Public Prosecutor and the Director of Public Prosecutions will now receive the report for their review.

The driver, Sibusiso Siyaya, 28, who appeared before the Pongola Magistrate’s Court on Monday, is accused of culpable homicide; the police are currently looking into the issue.

“We are putting in place additional steps to bolster existing interventions as part of our efforts to make our roads safer,” the statement continued.


The Minister declared that the government was stepping up its use of law enforcement.

He added that the KwaZulu-Natal Road Transport Inspectorate and Local Municipality Traffic will be sent right away to the hotspots that have been identified by the RTMC.

“Ad hoc deployment of the National Traffic Police to help the province in identifying locations with insufficient traffic enforcement capacity, as guided by the examination of traffic statistics.”

The organization will also mandate truck stops at predetermined intervals to enforce speed control and considerate driving toward other road users.

“This approach, which focuses on vehicle and driver fitness, will serve as the foundation for these interventions.”

The province is dedicated to making traffic police officers visible all year round.

He suggested that the Transport MEC engage an investigator to compile any information relating the state of fitness of a motor vehicle in order to ensure that businesses that own trucks abide by strict compliance with the law.

“The investigator is authorized to gather further information relevant to vehicle and driver health, including trends about traffic violations committed by drivers, hours drivers drive per day, and vehicle roadworthiness.”

Additionally, he stated that the government was thinking of enacting legislation to reinforce the existing laws governing the operation of trucks on public roads, as well as the design, equipment, and operating circumstances for such vehicles.

Mbalula stated that all mobile testing centers owned by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport will be promptly deployed in the N2 Pongola area, and visibility of traffic law enforcement personnel will be increased, in order to strengthen law enforcement efforts in the province.

They will widen the current road, bridges, and culverts to increase capacity on the road where the event happened.

The project is expected to cost R2.5 billion, he added, adding that it will significantly increase road user safety.