Polokwane: Every effort is being made to ensure roads are safe when the annual September ZCC Moria pilgrimage starts this weekend.
Thousands of buses, mini-buses and small cars transporting millions of the ZCC members will travel to Moria outside Polokwane.
“During this campaign, the provincial Department of Roads and Transport has planned for a smooth passage into the province free of traffic disruptions,” said department spokesperson Joshua Kwapa on Wednesday.
Kwapa said 1 042 traffic officers will work in shifts to ensure around-the-clock monitoring of hazardous areas between 31 August and 2 September as well as September 21 to 24.
Frequent travellers to the province are advised to avoid travelling during peak hours on the N1 and R101 on these dates.
Joint special operations will also be held daily with the police at Beit Bridge and Groblersbrug border posts.
“In this campaign we will focus on visible policing. We will deploy 418 marked and unmarked traffic police and road safety vehicles on 26 identified critical roads daily,” Kwapa said.
A further 33 road safety officials will ensure clear communications and publicity.
Five routes have been given top priority, namely the N1 between Carousel and Polokwane, the R37 to Lebowakgomo, the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen, and the church entrances on the R101 and R36.
Kwapa added that the Alcohol Evidence Centre in Polokwane will operate 24-hours a day.
He said that of 515 accidents reported on the roads between April and June, 13 were caused by drunk drivers. Altogether 107 drivers were arrested for drunk driving between April and July.
MEC Pitsi Moloto has called on all road users to exercise patience, refrain from speeding, drinking and driving and obey all the rules of the road.
“Through behavioural change by all road users, road accidents can be avoided. One death is one death too many. We do not wish to report a single death during this period and we are urging all road users to arrive alive,” Moloto said.