The DA is concerned that the Northern Cape is the only province in the country that failed to experience a decrease in road deaths over the weekend. This is according to preliminary statistics presented to the media by National Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, earlier today.
It is worrying that road safety efforts in the Northern Cape have not had the same impact as in other provinces that recorded a decrease in fatalities over the Easter weekend compared with the same period in 2015.
Honest introspection is required by the provincial Department of Transport, Safety & Liaison in assessing road safety initiatives in the province. This must include an open and transparent review of the millions of rands received by the department from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
The department has for some time been under fire for suspicious payments totaling R42 million that were made by the department to an implementing agent, known as Wilcovert, for road safety awareness and education programmes in the province. The money came from a R60 million cash injection received by the department from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) in 2014/2015.
In February this year, former MEC Martha Bartlett, convened a special press conference to discuss, amongst other things, the payments to Wilcovert. She however dodged the real issue and indicated that the department was in the process of studying a report on the expenditure by the respective implementing agent for work done in 2014/2015.
Given the department’s lack lustre performance in terms of road safety, they can no longer avoid accounting for the expenditure of funds intended to reduce the carnage on our roads and ensure that Northern Cape roads are safer than in previous years.
The DA will write to newly appointed MEC Pauline Williams, asking that she provides the public with an update on the respective expenditure report.
We will continue to do whatever we can to hold the Northern Cape Department of Transport to account, so that road fatality reduction in this province becomes the norm, not the exception.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Transport, Safety & Liaison
082 494 6648