THE DEATH OF MIN. CHABANE, SERG. SEKELE AND SERG. LENTSOANE
The recent tragic death of Minister of Public Service and Administration,
Collins Chabane, his driver, Sergeant L.G. Sekele and his bodyguard,
Sergeant M.C. Lentsoane is as tragic as it was preventable.
We must ask ourselves, how many more need to die before effective,
consistent and nationwide road safety measures are put in place and acted
South Africans Against Drunk Driving (www.sadd.org.za) is committed to
this process but we cannot do it alone. There needs to be commitment from
all levels of government and the public. The recently proposed zero drink
driving legislation is a start but laws are meaningless unless they are
enforced. All levels of government need to insist on strict, correct and
uniform enforcement of all road traffic legislation.
We need to see traffic police officers spend less time policing speeding
but rather spreading their time and resources proportionately policing all
road traffic laws.
We need to see traffic police enforcing buckling up in the back and front
and removing unroadworthy vehicles off the roads.
We need to see traffic police officers on the roads stopping cars, trucks,
taxis and buses and breathalyzing the occupants.
We need to see this every day and every night throughout the country and
on a representative number of roads.
Without the knowledge that you will be caught if you drink and drive,
there is no deterrent not to. Education plays a part but even if you know
the risk, you may still take a chance if you know you are unlikely to get
We need research based interventions such as the good practice guidelines
suggested by the World Health Organization. These interventions have been
rigorously assessed and peer reviewed. The good practice manuals from the
World Health Organization are easily accessible and would provide the
South African government with a template for improving road safety.
With the correct interventions, South Africa could meet the UN Decade of
Action goal to reduce road traffic incidents by 50% before 2020.
The cost of these road traffic crashes, they are not ‘accidents’, is
billions to the economy. To date this year, the estimated cost to the
economy of road traffic crashes is almost R6, 5 billion. However, the
human cost is equallygreat. The burden on the families of road traffic
victims and survivors is unquantifiable both in rands and emotionally.
SADD sends our condolences to families of the victims and we ask that, out
of respect for their lives and the countless number of other lives lost on
our roads, a significant effort is made to bring positive change to road
safety in South Africa.