The reason for Limpopo’s road carnage?

A team of only ten traffic officers with four vehicles is responsible for patrolling the whole of Limpopo province’s major routes for moving traffic violations.  And two of those vehicles are frequently withdrawn from use to serve as VIP escourts.

That’s what I was told by a senior official in Limpopo’s department of roads, with the undertaking that Gordon Horn, Limpopo’s manager of traffic support services, would call in the following three days.

That was two weeks ago and he hasn’t called, nor have we been unable to get hold of him.  The whole issue arises from our complaint to the presidential hotline about poor traffic management in Limpopo.

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Double barrier lines mean nothing in Limpopo.  To most road users they seem to mean “overtake now!”  Headon collisions are inevitable in Limpopo and every time I drive there, I wonder, “Is it my turn next?”

I’ve driven most of Limpopo and seeing any traffic police patrolling for moving violations is like hen’s teeth.  One does see many manning speed traps or road blocks, or snoozing under a tree.

But these road blocks are a farce, geared more it seems to meeting a quota for the number of cars stopped than checking vehicles.  All they ask for is the driver’s licence.  I have been stopped many times but none have checked that the vehicle’s registration is valid or correct, or that the vehicles lights work, or that the vehicle tyres meet safety standards. Yet any drive between Limpopo and Gauteng in the early hours or around dusk show many vehicles with faulty lights.

It really seems as though Limpopo’s traffic officials are more geared to meeting some impressive-sounding quotas that show how many vehicles are stopped each month.

So until Limpopo’s roads department get serious about traffic policing, CapeInfo’s advisory to tourists remains that driving on Limpopo’s roads is dangerous.

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