"Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Then Drive"

Winner of a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2012

Cape Talk Interview - AlcoFreeFeb™

Listen to Caro Smit talking to Pippa Hudson of CapeTalk FM here

A mother's battle to end road carnage

Mellisa Muchena had the honour of being interviewed by Power FM. It is a segment looking at how SADD can help victims and how we are urging South Africa to change their attitude on the road and make road safety a priority. 


Listen to it here

Voice of America - April 2016

Caro Smit had the honour of being interviewed by Voice of America journalist Darren Taylor, earlier this year. It is a description of how the government should be enforcing laws to curb the high amount of deaths that are a result of drink driving.

The article can be read here

National Road Safety Summit - Feedback - April 2016

Feedback on NRSS- for Department of Transport, by Caro Smit, of SADD.              19.4.2016.

Congratulations on this Draft.                                                                

We humbly make the following recommendations and suggestions.

Pillar 1. Page 18.
(1) Stakeholders engagement.
SADD suggest you engage with and use NGOs who practice and talk Best Practices to assist DoT & RTMC.
Finances: RTMC and DoT assist NGOs financially, and especially those who are aligned to international companies such as UNECA, FIA, World Health Organization, etc. and are part of the “Global Alliance of NGOs”

Page 25. 4. Situational Assessment.4.1 Overview of crash statistics

SADD ask that up to date very detailed data and is collected, and shared with the public.

We ask that more emphasis is placed on collecting details about injuries, and that injuries are classified as slight, moderate, serious or causing permanent disability.

The latest data given by RTMC is 2011.

Page  37.4.4 Economic and financial impacts.  Suggest Government enforces alcohol companies to give a portion of their profits for rehabilitation and compensation of victims, and to develop drink driving programs.

State and Municipality Traffic Fines. Get these to be used only for road safety initiatives, and not have the money to go into the general fiscus

Page 64. Annual Planning. Consultation with … Add  “NGOs”


Pillar 2.Safer Roads and Mobility

Page 30. Need to have research done so “Black Spots” are marked out accurately and very clearly, with special signs. Educate the public about what “Black Spots” mean - so they can be proactive, and drive more carefully or slower here.

DoT need to make sure all new roads standards are 3 Stars at least, and fit in with the recommended standards of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) 3 star coalition http://www.fundforglobalhealth.org/join-the-3-star-coalition

"Unsafe roads are a major factor contributing to the large number of road crash deaths and injuries.  In the developing world, many roads are built without basic safety features like pedestrian crossings for children going to school.  We believe this needs to change."

Page 33. Percentage contribution of rad environment factors

 Remove Road surface: wet/slippery- change to more accurate “speeding on wet or dirt roads.”


Pillar 3.Safer Vehicles.Accept the same standards for vehicles and buses as accepted internationally, and don’t allow inferior manufacturing standards in vehicles into the country.

Page 34.Tyre tread depth needs to be brought to international standards of 1.6 mm (Australia, Sweden, Denmark, USA, UK etc.) and not 1mm as it is in SA.
This needs to be vigorously enforced, and people encouraged changing tyres long before this.
In Australia, for road worthy purposes, tyres with a tread depth 1.5 to 1.6mm are considered worn out. In SA Continental tyres say: ” In order to keep the braking distances as short as possible on wet roads, Continental therefore recommends that summer tyres be replaced at 3mm.”

UK: 1.6 mm  https://www.kwik-fit.com/tyres/information/uk-tyre-law ”The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres. At 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra two car lengths (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.”

Australia.1.6mm. http://toyotires.com.au/tyre-tips/tyre-safety ”The tread depth of the tyre will determine how much the tyre's contact patch is reduced in wet conditions and therefore the amount of grip the tyres can provide. The graph below shows an example of how tyre tread depths affect braking distance on wet roads. When new, the tread depth of most passenger car tyres is close to 8.0mm. In Australia, for road worthy purposes, tyres with a tread depth 1.5 to 1.6mm are considered worn out. The graph below indicates the practical reason for this regulation.”

SA: A false sense of safety .(http://fleetwatch.co.za/magazines/Aug2008/33-Dont%20go%20legal%20on%20tread%20depth.htm)
“ABS – anti-lock braking systems – prevents wheel lock up while ESC - electronic stability control systems – regulate the rotation of a vehicle’s individual tyres when braking and steering, braking the wheels to maintain driving stability. You cannot have ESC without ABS and the two systems combine to really improve braking and stability in an emergency. 

It’s a bit like people who don’t wear a seatbelt because a vehicle is equipped with air-bags – ABS and ESC cannot make up for a lack of tread where the rubber meets the road. This is because: 

  • Brakes only slow down the speed of rotation of the wheels. 
  • It is the contact between the tyres and the road surface that actually reduces vehicle speed. 
  • The ability of brakes to retard vehicle speed depends on contact between tyres and the road surface. So regardless of legal aspects, ensure that tyre footprints are the best you can get. 

Continental makes the point: ‘The braking distances in the wet depend on the tread depth of the tyres, with or without ABS or ESC. It is a simple rule of thumb: The lower the tread depth, the longer the braking distance. On braking tests from 80 km/h carried out in the framework of the UEFA EURO 2008, more than 1500 of Continental's business partners and representatives from the media found out first-hand the serious differences at a water depth of 15mm: 

  • A car equipped with new summer tyres (8mm tread depth) comes to a standstill after just 42m braking. With a sufficient 3mm residual tread depth, the car stops after some 52m. 
  • A residual tread depth of 1.6mm is risky for all road users in such a traffic situation: The braking distance increases even more since the water cannot drain off quickly enough. The car doesn't come to a stop until after 61m, which is 45% longer than the braking distance for a new tyre. 
  • And when the car equipped with sufficient treads comes to a stop after 42m, the car with 1.6mm residual tread depth is still travelling at a collision speed of 44 km/h in this test. In actual traffic, this can lead to very serious accidents. 

In order to keep the braking distances as short as possible on wet roads, Continental therefore recommends that summer tyres be replaced at 3mm.”

Pillar 4.Safer road users.Page 24
a) Education & training of road users Use acknowledged NGOs like the Irish do.
SADD for example has 6 different manuals and about 35 different posters on alcohol, drink driving ,basic road safety and seatbelt use, 2 DVDs + other road safety materials, and is acknowledged and works with UN, WHO, FIA, UNECA, etc.

Have effective alcohol education. Teach about the correct units, BAC and elimination rates.

SADD want it to be made compulsory that the number of Units is displayed on the bottles/ cans - so that people are aware of the different strengths of the drinks. This is especially important now with new sizes of drinks coming out e.g. 440 ml / 500 ml /660 ml, 750ml etc. In addition it should be stated on all bottles and cans that 1 unit comes to 0.02g in blood,& what the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is.

Drink Driving Offences. DoT to with the Dept. of Justice to have specialized Traffic Courts so that swift sentencing happens and the seriousness of road offences and especially drink driving offences are known so that appropriate and effective sentences are given.

SADD propose that Random Breath Testing (as is the case in Australia) is specifically legislated to empower officers to, at random, stop drivers and obtain breath samples. It should be mandatory to test both drivers involved in any crash.

For this purpose every Traffic Officer and SAPS should carry breathalysers in their vehicles.

Change the law so that Traffic Officers and SAPS can randomly test drivers for alcohol even when checking for speeding, licences, road-worthiness, tyres, etc.

SADD would like it to be made mandatory that both drivers at all crash scenes (and especially in serious crash scenes where severe injuries or deaths have occurred) be tested for alcohol/&/or drugs.

Mandatory Jail sentences(as allowed in the NRTA) for death or injury caused by drink driving of minimum of 9 year per death, sentences to be run concurrently, and not consecutively.

Please consider making on-the-spot driving license suspension systems currently being rolled out in some US jurisdictions, mandatory. Basically, a Traffic Officer is empowered to suspend the license of a driver on the spot, if that officer has witnessed that driver commit a reckless driving offence. This would include DUI, but also drivers who run red lights, speed excessively and so on. There is then a hearing which must take place within a week in most states. At the hearing the driver can present evidence as to why the license suspension was unlawful or unreasonable and the presiding officer can reinstate the license based on the evidence. Essentially, it is just a kind of fine, but with no monetary value and a much quicker turnaround time for the appearance. It is conducted completely separately from any other criminal proceedings which may arise. In practice it immediately neutralises the threat to the public represented by a reckless driver, and is a far stronger deterrent than fines, and completely disarms the argument used by drivers that traffic enforcement is about fine revenue. It also takes away the risk of a spot fine system being used to elicit bribes.

Name and Shame campaign: Restart this program and put the names and BAC of all convicted drink drivers into local papers, as well as education about the legal BAC, units of alcohol, elimination rates etc.

Page 24. b) Enforcement of road traffic rules. Get enforcement levels up to 8/10 for seatbelt, speeding, helmet wearing and drink driving.

Concentrate on vulnerable users like cyclists. Be proactive to prevent more deaths and injuries occurring. Enforce the wearing of helmets and that cyclists may only cycle on the left hand side of the road.

Enforce the 1.5 m passing distance for vehicles, and enforce the use of cycling lanes for cyclists only.

Do research to show effectiveness of strategies/projects

Drink driving. Change the law so that Traffic Officers and SAPS can randomly test drivers for alcohol even when checking for speeding, licences ,road worthiness  or tyres, and not only at road blocks.

Put up signs on roads that are Black Spots- and educate the public about what Black sports mean - so they can be proactive, and drive more carefully or slower here.

Page 24.c) Using modern technology.

Alcohol ignition interlocks. SADD suggest it is made compulsory for these to be fitted to public transport vehicles like buses, trucks and taxis.
SADD ask that it be made mandatory that driver with a BAC of 0.15g or more, and every repeat drink driving offender have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock fitted to their vehicle, if they are allowed to drive.

Additionally they should be monitored by NICRO and SANCA (Alcohol and Drug Centre)

It should be mandatory for every convicted drink driver who kills or seriously injures to have an Interlock fitted, once they are released from Jail, and they should be monitored by NICRO and SANCA (Alcohol and Drug Centre)

These Interlocks could be bought by the DoT, and hired out to the driver.(In Australia the cost is $5 daily) Offenders who by Law are not allowed to drink any alcohol should have “Alcohol Ankle bracelets fitted” and be monitored by a social worker from NICRO/SANCA.

SADD feel more attention and research should be given to the Diversion Programs offered by NICRO that allows drink drivers to attend NICRO courses and not get criminal records.

SADD ask that if the Diversion programs are run that only offender who have a BAC of 0.10g or less, and no repeat offenders, should be allowed on these programs. In addition they should be registered on a Central Register, so that if they re-offend in another province within 10 years, they are not classed as First Time Offenders again, and allowed to join another Diversion Programs in that province.

Generally Diversion Programs are for “First time offenders”, but research shows that seldom are these drivers’ first time offenders; it is just the first time they have been caught!

"‘First-time’ offenders are rarely first-time drunk drivers," said aMADD news releasehttp://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2014/feb/24/mothers-against-drunk-driving/madd-says-most-drunken-driving-deaths-caused-first/on Feb. 11, 2014."Conservative estimates show that a first-time convicted OWI offender has driven drunk at least 80 times prior to being arrested."

MADD continued: "According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, a majority of drunk driving deaths and injuries are caused by drunk driving offenders with no prior convictions."

There are several myths regarding ignition interlocks for first-time drunk driving offenders that need to be addressed to understand why this technology should be mandated for all DWI offenders. (Ref)http://www.ourthinkingaboutdrinking.com/opinions/busting-myths-ignition-interlocks-are-effective-for-first-time-drunk-drivers/) Prof Richard Roth.

Myth 1: First offenders have driven drunk only once before their arrest.
My research of drunk drivers at Victim Impact Panels shows that first offenders have driven drunk a median of 100 times before their first arrest. They are not first offenders; they are “first caught.”

Myth 2: First offenders are a negligible part of the drunk driving problem.
First offenders are the largest part of the drunk driving problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they comprise over 60% of those arrested and up to 91% of those in fatal alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

Myth 3: First offenders are less likely to be re-arrested than subsequent offenders.
Data from New Mexico shows that first offenders have a re-arrest rate similar to that of subsequent offenders and eight times higher than the arrest rate of those with no priors.

Myth 4: License revocation is a more effective sanction than interlocks.
The re-arrest rate of interlocked first offenders is one fourth that of non-interlocked first offenders whose licenses are revoked.

Myth 5: Interlocks cost too much.
Offenders pay the cost of interlocks, which is less than a third of the economic benefit of lives saved, and crashes and injuries prevented. As opposed to costing too much, interlocks are actually cost effective.

Myth 6: Interlocks are not a fair penalty for DWI.
Even the majority of DWI offenders agree that they’re a fair penalty. Over 80% of 13,554 convicted DWI offenders agreed in anonymous surveys before DWI Victim Impact Panels.”

Page 36. Add “No cell phone use.” Distracted driving. Ban both hands-held and hands-free phones.

Page 37. Learners and driving tests. Need to add that the learners need education about units of alcohol, the effect of alcohol on driving skills, and also what the legal alcohol limit is for ordinary and professional drivers.

Driving instructors need to be regulated and safety standards enforced. In Pietermaritzburg for example, many driving instructors do not wear seatbelts!

Page 42. Improved enforcement. Get 8/10 for seatbelt and drink driving enforcement

Do research to show effectiveness of strategies/projects

Page 30. Advocacy and partnerships. Add Department of Justice, Health and Social Development

Page 54. Public awareness campaigns. Drink Driving. Lead agency – SADD

Page 57 : 2. Increased visibility of traffic police- change to “Increased and pro-active effective and  visible traffic policing.”


Pillar 5.. Post-Crash Care

Page 18  2.2 (4) Quality of crash data.
The quality of crash data is very poor in SA.

People are often found not guilty of traffic offences (& especially drink driving) because there is insufficient evidence -- not because they are innocent.
We need more highly trained and qualified crash investigators, with excellent knowledge about speeding/lighting & road condition/alcohol consumption & its effect on driving, etc.

Investigating officers need smaller caseloads so that they can be more effective and follow up optimally.
SADD would like it to be made mandatory
that both drivers at all crash scenes and especially in serious crash scenes where severe injuries or deaths have occurred to be tested for alcohol/&/or drugs.

Page 37
Victims need better post-crash investigations done, so that they get the justice they deserve.
Financial compensation for victims needs to be looked at, and provided.
Victims need better access to the Investigators and Public Prosecutors handling their case.
Victims need access to trauma debriefing that is paid for by the State.
SAPS needs to do proper post-crash investigations, and Public Prosecutors and Magistrates need better training about the impact and seriousness of crashes on victims and SA society.
Injured victims need more and better rehabilitation so that they reach their full potential. Rehabilitation services need to be taken to rural areas and Hospitals.

We need to train more Social Workers and Psychologists to give specialized post trauma post-crash counselling to victims’ and their families, and to have their services available, free of charge for victims.

Festive Season Statistics - Be Proactive

Festive season statistics are an indication that the general public need to start getting involved with road safety


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World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015

SADD organised three events for the global World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2015.


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Opinion on the proposed Zero limit for Drink Driving

Click below to read an opinion piece by Ms Smit in The Witness on the proposed zero limit for drink driving.


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Comment on proposed U21 drinking age law

Click to read SADD's comment to the Sunday Times on the proposed increase of the legal drinking age to 21 years.


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World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims 2015

Click below to read SADD's press release on the upcoming World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.


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SADD joins Litres for Education

SADD is proud to announce a partnership with Litres for Education. Read more to learn how you can get involved.


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Bisley Park Primary

SADD hosted a #SaveKidsLives event at Bisley Park Primary at which the school children presented their messages to the Mayor Chris Ndlela.




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SADD supports Zoleka Mandela

SADD offers their support to Zoleka Mandela as she speaks at the World Bank #SaveKidsLives forum.


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UN Global Road Safety Week 2015

Read the press release from the event.


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New child car restraint law

Read this article in the Fever regarding the new law effective from 1 May 2015 regarding child restraints in cars.


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SADD chosen for global #SaveKidsLives 2015

SADD are one of only 10 NGOs world-wide to be have been funded by the W.H.O. and World Bank in the global #SaveKidsLives2015, and will be working with schools around Pietermaritzburg.


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Statement from SADD on the death of Min. Chabane


Click to read the statement by SADD on the death of Min. Chabane and his two collegues. 


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Statement on the proposed zero limit for drink driving

Ms Caro Smit issued the following comment on the proposed drink driving legislation.


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South Africa, some of worst drinkers in Africa

Caro Smit speaks on Channel Africa

Caro Smit spoke on several radio stations about the proposed zero tolerance drink drive law and alcohol. Here is a sample podcast from Channel Africa.


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SADD is on the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme

SADD has been accepted on to the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme. Read more to learn how you can help.


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AlcoFreeFeb 2015 approaches

SADD is preparing to launch AFF 2015!


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University Project funding renewed

The university project will continue (and expand) in 2015


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World Day of Remembrance 2014

SADD commerates the day at a primary school


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Drunk driver jailed for killing a child


Robert Gilmore jailed for the death of a child. SADD supports the victim's family


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Scholar Patrol in Pietermaritzburg

Scholar Patrol in Pietermaritzburg to educate youth on road safety


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Wits University Campus Health

Witwatersrand University promotes safe health practices to youth with the help of SADD.


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Cape Peninsula University of Technology

11 August 2014

A successful workshop at CPUT.


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University of Cape Town

16 August

Caro Smit holds an educational workshop at UCT.


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1 August 2014

Caro Smit visits NMMU to provide educational training.


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GPRS Conference 2014

SADD presents at Global Partnership for Road Safety South Africa


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Another needy cyclist helped!

SADD helps needy cyclists on the dark winter days


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University of Zululand

27 July 2014

Charlotte Sullivan visited the University of Zululand for an educational workshop. 


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Press Release

20th of June 2014

Press release on the Geyser/Van Rensburg case


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SADD assists with safety of children entering school

SADD was shocked by the dangerous behaviour taken by school children to reach the school gates.


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SADD invited to speak by Pernod Ricard

Caro Smit and Charlotte Sullivan invited by Pernod Ricard to speak at conference


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Seat belt Project, Cordwalles Preparatory, Pietermaritzburg- funded by Road Safety Fund

April 2014

Charlotte Sullivan of SADD visits Cordwalles


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SADD and Cyclesafe KZN distribute protective gear to cyclists

SADD, with CycleSafe KZN, helps protect cyclists on the roads


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Brothers start education initiative in JHB

Brothers start flea market serving alcohol as a learning place about alcohol and drink driving


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Support the Quadriplegic Ass. of South Africa

The QASA is running a campaign on seatbelt safety with an effective message.


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SADD speaks out on poor seatbelt usage in PMB

After conducting research into seatbelt usage in Pietermaritzburg, SADD was shocked by the findings. Realising the children in the back seat are the least likely to be wearing a seatbelt and that young children should rather be in car seats which offer better protection, SADD began to donated car seats to needy families. Click read more to read the article that appeared in the local newspaper (The Witness).

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Team SADD completes the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour

Team completes the race despite gale force winds


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PSG supports AlcoFreeFeb and SADD

Tinus Harvinga, Principal Executive : Corporate Benefit Consulting at PSG Employee Benefits Ltd, shows his support for AlcoFreeFeb and SADD.


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AlcoFreeFeb dominates the Dusi 2014 podium

All three places taken by ZeroHeros


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AlcoFreeFeb- Join the revolution!

We want you! Join with local celebrities in standing up to the high road crash rate on our roads.


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Speech by Transport Minister Martins before the National Council of Provinces 23.5.13

'South Africa’s mortality rate of 28 per 100 000 citizens dying as a result of road fatalities, is regrettably amongst the highest in the world. Available data and evidence indicates that young people are the main victims of road fatalities. Road fatalities result in a huge socio-economic cost, estimated at R306 billion per annum.'



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Bad driving - what are we thinking?

New laws to curb dangerous driving highlight the fascinating psychology of the road.


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SA pad vol botsings - Beeld 22 Jan 2013

Die Verenigde Nasies (VN) het die dekade tot 2020 aan padveiligheid gewy, maar Suid-Afrika het steeds nie ’n nasionale strategie om die doelwitte van die VN te bereik nie. Intussen duur die slagting op paaie voort. Anim van Wyk berig.

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