Polokwane: Limpopo law enforcement officers will be on high alert as millions of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) members descend on Moria for their September pilgrimage this weekend.
“Throngs of ZCC members are expected to make their way into the borders of this province, which will lead to high traffic volumes on all our major routes,” said provincial Roads and Transport Department spokesperson, Joshua Kwapa on Thursday.
“The department will, however, deploy traffic officers to all our priority routes to ensure that there are no impediments and/or congestions which are unattended.”
Kwapa said the prioritsed routes are the N1 Maubane to Makhado, R521 Dendron road, R71 Polokwane to Tzaneen, R101 Polokwane to Bela Bela and R36 Tzaneen to Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg).
He said that traffic officers will be working extended hours mainly to ensure that they intensify visibility as well as law enforcement.
“Traffic officers will also be working in partnership with members of the South African Police Service to further heighten visibility on our roads.
“In order to provide efficient law enforcement, the department will also deploy its material resources to maximise operations,” Kwapa said.
Kwapa said the department would deploy high-tech moving violation recorders at identified hazardous areas in the province. Roving speed checks will also be undertaken at various key strategic areas.
The department managed to drastically reduce road carnage during the Easter Moria pilgrimage earlier this year.
“This was mainly due to cooperation by motorists and pedestrians. Only 15 lives were lost compared to 23 the previous year,” said Kwapa.
Roads and Transport MEC Lehlogonolo Masoga said a low number of accidents are expected this weekend. He called on all road users to exercise patience and refrain from excessive speeding.
“We have identified excessive speeding as one of highly contributing factors of accidents on our roads. We are calling on all motorists to drive within the legal speed limit,” said Masoga, warning that the department will adopt a zero tolerance approach this weekend.
“We cannot allow reckless, selfish drunk drivers to claim innocent lives on our roads. Working together with the police this weekend, drunk drivers will be arrested and be brought to justice,” said Masoga.
South Africa is part of the United Nations General Assembly’s Decade of Action for Road Safety, which aims to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2020.