Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Transport minister Blade Nzimande announced on Wednesday that 1,612 people died on the country’s roads over the 2018/19 festive season — an increase from the 1,502 deaths over the same period the previous year. 

“Although we have not succeeded in achieving the goal of a 10% reduction [of road fatalities] in this period, we shall not despair,” Nzimande said at a briefing in Pretoria. 

A total of 1,286 car crashes were recorded during the festive season. 

“Our cherished ...  motor vehicles have become killing machines on our roads, more specifically during the festive season,” the minister said. 

Human factors accounted for 90% of all fatal crashes, while vehicle factors contributed 4% and road and environmental factors 6%. 

KwaZulu-Natal topped the list with the highest number of fatalities of 328 deaths, followed by the Eastern Cape with 238, Gauteng 219, Limpopo 178, Mpumalanga 162 and Free State with 159.