Six people were killed in an accident on the R74 between Kranskop and Greytown on Saturday night.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni has called on motorists to adhere to traffic regulations in the wake of the accident.
It happened at around 11pm when a minibus taxi collided head-on with a light motor vehicle. On impact both vehicles caught alight and some of the occupants were burnt beyond recognition.
A statement by the department said that it is alleged that one driver was avoiding a stationary vehicle and collided with an on-coming vehicle.
The occupants in the minibus taxi are believed to have been travelling from a wedding in Nkandla to Estcourt. The other vehicle was coming from Greytown to a home on the R74.
According to the preliminary investigation, the minibus taxi was laden with 20 occupants, when it is permitted to carry 16 occupants, resulting in possible overloading.
Six people were confirmed dead at the scene and 15 others who sustained serious injuries were taken to Greytown Hospital for urgent medical attention. Other critical patients were later transported to Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Nkonyeni has called on motorists to be extra cautious and to adhere to the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations as well as the stipulated curfew.
“We wish to send our deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones during this terrible accident and wish the injured survivors a swift recovery.
“Indeed this is a great and devastating loss to the province. We are calling upon motorists to adhere to all road traffic rules and the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations.
“No vehicle is supposed to be on the road after the stipulated curfew, except for essential services. Our team of investigators are currently on the ground. We will also engage with the SAPS and Health Laboratory Services with the view of speeding up the DNA process to assist the families with the identification of their family members who were burnt beyond recognition,” said Nkonyeni.•