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26 December 2011

SAWDIS Holiday Alert 2011/2012

Capetonians urged to be safe

The South African Weather Service warns of gale force winds for parts of the Cape Peninsula throughout Boxing Day.

Cape Town Disaster Management officials say these are favourable conditions for runaway veld fires.

A fire gutted a home in Elsies River on Monday morning, leaving six people homeless.

On Sunday, separate blazes in several informal settlements displaced at least 37 people.

Disaster Management's Wilfred-Solomons-Johannes says, “The City of Cape Town appeals to the public that will picnic and make braais along this area and elsewhere in the city to only make fires in designated areas. Our law enforcement agencies will be patrolling all camping sites.”

Johannes urges thousands of bathers who will flock to the beaches to act responsibly.

“We urge the public to be careful and to only swim in designated areas where there are lifeguards on duty and not to swim after they have eaten and consumed alcohol.”

- EWN

Road death toll reaches 800

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Ashref Ismail on Monday confirmed the preliminary festive road death toll had reached the 800 mark.

Close to 200 road accidents were reported over the Christmas weekend alone.

Ismail said he was concerned about a steep increase in head-on collisions this festive season.

He said motorists must be extra careful on the roads.

“We want motorists to make sure that before they overtake, they apply the defensive driving technique,” he said.

Ismail added highways were set to get busy later.

“We are expecting high traffic volumes along major roads for Monday and Tuesday.”

ER24 paramedics attended several accidents all over the country including a horror crash on the M1 north on Saturday.

Two people, including a four-year-old boy, died after the taxi they were travelling in crashed into a barrier.

On Christmas morning, two men died after their bakkie crashed into a tree in Krugersdorp.

ER24's Vanessa Jackson urged motorists to adhere to the road rules, avoid driving drunk and buckle up.

- EWN

Speedster clocks 195km/h

A 40-year-old motorist has been arrested outside Beaufort West for speeding at 195km/h on Monday.

Western Cape Traffic officials nabbed the man cruising in his Mini Cooper on the N1 en-route to Cape Town earlier.

Traffic Chief Kenny Africa saids the dare devil gave officers a reason for his speeding.

“He was stopped and taken to the Beaufort West Police Station. He said he was on his to Cape Town to be with his pregnant wife,” he says.

- EWN

Boy survives balcony plunge

Johannesburg - A five-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after falling ten metres from a hotel balcony in the eastern Free State town of Clarens on Christmas afternoon, emergency services said on Sunday.

“The cause of the incident and the series of events leading up to it remain unclear and will form the subject of a South African Police Force investigation,” said Netcare spokesman Jeffrey Wicks.

“Common cause information suggests that the boy had plunged from the balcony onto terra firma below.”

He is in a private hospital in Bethlehem.

- Sapa/IOL

Fewer road deaths in 2011, so far

Johannesburg - Speeding and drinking and driving have contributed heavily to the over 800 deaths that have occurred on South African roads this festive season, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Monday.

Spokesman Ashref Ismail said, "Major contributory factors remain speeds too high for circumstances, especially at night and during inclement weather, drinking and driving, drinking and walking and dangerous overtaking on barrier lines in the face of coming traffic."

According to the RTMC, just over 800 people have lost their lives since December 1 this year. A total of 1149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.

Ismail said it was not possible to predict whether this year's figures would exceed last year's toll.

"It would premature to make such comparisons but we remain hopeful that we won't reach that figure this year. There has been a small year-on-year reduction and we hope to build on that."

Ismail said the RTMC expected heavy volumes of traffic on Tuesday on the N3 north to Johannesburg and the N1 south from Polokwane to Pretoria as holiday makers returned home.

- SAPA/News24

Padsterftes: Spoed, drank eis honderde

Johannesburg – Spoed en dronkbestuur het 'n groot rol gespeel in die meer as 800 sterftes tot dusver op Suid-Afrikaanse paaie hierdie feesseisoen, het die Padverkeersbestuurskorporasie (RTMC) Maandag gesê.

"Spoed wat te hoog is vir toestande op die pad, veral in die nag en in slegte weer, is steeds 'n groot bydraende faktor. So ook dronkbestuur, voetgangers wat gedrink het, en verbysteek op sperstrepe in aankomende verkeer," het Ashref Ismail, 'n woordvoerder, gesê.

'n Bietjie meer as 800 mense het volgens die RTMC sedert 1 Desember op Suid-Afrikaanse paaie gesterf. Altesaam 1 149 mense het in dieselfde tydperk in 2010 gesterf, en 1 304 sterftes is in dieselfde periode in 2009 gerapporteer.

Ismail het gesê dis nie moontlik om te voorspel of vanjaar se sterftes meer as verlede jaar sal wees nie.

"Dit sal te vroeg wees om sulke vergelykings te maak maar ons bly hoop dat ons nie weer hierdie jaar soveel sterftes sal hê nie. Daar is tot dusver 'n klein vermindering en ons hoop om daarop voort te bou."

Die RTMC verwag Dinsdag swaar verkeer op die N3 noord na Johannesburg en die N1 suid van Polokwane na Pretoria, met talle vakansiegangers wat terugkeer huis toe.

- SAPA/Nuus24