Holidaymakers not to be delayed

South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has announced that construction on all roads has been paused. PHOTO: MARK STEENBOK

Holiday makers planning to drive to their holiday destination this festive season, will be pleased to hear the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has announced that construction on all roads has been paused. This means that holiday travellers across the country will not encounter any stop-and-go distractions during their travel time. Sanral advises holiday makers who are planning road trips to always plan their journey ahead of time and keep safety in mind at all times.

Road incidents can be reported to the National Traffic Control Centre on 012-665-6075, or to the South African Police Service on 10111. Spokesperson for Sanral, Vusi Mona, advised road users to remember road safety regulations. He said: “Before you commences your journey, especially if you are going to travel long distance, make sure that your vehicle is in a reliable condition. Check your tyres, make sure they are mechanically sound and, of course, if you start feeling tired when driving, don’t force yourself. It’s better to arrive safely than not to arrive at all. So, take a break until you feel that you are in a good mental and physical state to resume driving. And for pedestrians, don’t drink and start jaywalking. Be generally alert as a road user.”

He added that the collaboration between Sanral, law enforcement agencies, provincial traffic authorities and emergency services will contribute to safer journeys. “Roads are a shared space, so we need to be patient with each other because we all share that space; give each other a chance and right of way. Respect other road users.” Mona said: “The national road network has been characterised as being in a fair to good condition. Our motorists can rest assured that they will not encounter any unsafe road conditions. We’ve tried the best we can to make sure that road conditions are suitable to handle the especially high traffic volumes during this time of the year.”

The highest traffic volumes are expected on Thursday 15 December and again a week later on the 22nd. Some of the areas where traffic is expected to be the highest, include the N1 near Colesberg in the Karoo and near the Huguenot Tunnel in the Western Cape; the N2 between Grabouw and Caledon in the Southern Cape; from East London to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and near Port Shepstone on the KwaZuluNatal South Coast; the N4 near Machadodorp in Mpumalanga, and at the Capricorn Plaza near Beit Bridge on the N1 north.

Mona assured the public that national roads are in good condition. He said: “The busiest sections of the road networks are those going down to Durban, your N3. The N1 from Gauteng, right up to the north. The N2 in the Eastern Cape, all the major national roads that connect cities to cities. Or in the case of the N1, which connects South Africa to the northern parts of the Limpopo border.” Sanral conducted an analysis of road volume statistics from previous years, which indicates that high volumes of traffic should be expected on the national and provincial freeway system during specific days in December.

All three public holidays, the Day of Reconciliation, Christmas and New Year’s Day, will be celebrated on or close to weekends and this will result in higher volumes in the preceding days as people travel to destinations in time for celebrations. “This basically starts now at the beginning of December. It will last for the duration of the festive season. We should be back to construction work in the second week of January 2017. We’ve done this in the interest of road safety, and of course to facilitate the smooth movement of road users on our national road network,” Mona added.

According to him, road construction has been halted across the 21 946km of freeways. This stretches from the Beit Bridge Border Post in the north to the Cape Peninsula, and from Alexander Bay in the west to the coastlines of Mozambique, KwaZuluNatal and the Eastern Cape.