Wednesday December 13, 2017
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KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO BE DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORT AT THE MATSAPHA ROAD SAFETY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON THE 16TH OF JULY 2016

  • THE PROGRAMME DIRECTOR,
  • MANZINI - REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR,
  • NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF POLICE,
  • WORKS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE,
  • MP KWALUSENI INKHUNDLA,
  • PRINCIPAL  SECRETARY – WORKS,
  • CHAIRMAN - SWAZILAND ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL,
  • MANAGEMENT – KUKHANYA CIVIL ENG. CONTRAC,
  • ROAD SAFETY STAKEHOLDER ALLIANCE,
  • DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

FROM THE ROAD SAFETY SPEECHES AND PERFORMANCES THAT I HAVE BEEN WATCHING SINCE MORNING, I HAVE NOTED THAT THIS IS INDEED AN AUSPICIOUS EVENT THAT IS GEARED TO TRANSFORMING THE MATSAPHA COMMUNITY TO A ROAD SAFETY COMPLIANT CONSTITUENCY.  

BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER, ALLOW ME TO HIGHLIGHT THE THEME OF THE DAY, WHICH IS SHORT CUTS ARE DEAD CUTS’, TRANSLATED; UNGAJUBELI UTAKUFA’.  THE THEME HAS A PREMISE ON THE RISK THAT PEDESTRIANS ARE WILLING TO TAKE IN THE NAME OF CONVENIENCE.  

THE UNFOLDING SITUATION IS VERY UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORT IS CURRENTLY IMPROVING THE MATSAPHA – MANZINI ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF ENHANCING ROAD SAFETY. DESPITE THE DISRUPTION IN TRAFFIC FLOW, THE PASSAGE OF BOTH MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS HAS BEEN MAINTAINED AT ALL COST.

I COMMEND ROAD SAFETY STAKEHOLDERS FOR JOINING HANDS IN ENSURING THAT THE FATAL ROAD CRASHES INVOLVING PEDESTRIANS ALONG THE MATSAPHA – MANZINI ROAD ARE ERADICATED THROUGH THE DISSEMINATION OF ROAD USER KNOWLEDGE. THIS SEEMS TO BE A MAMMOTH TASK, BUT SUCH A WELL ORGANIZED CAMPAIGN GUARANTEES A PROPER OUTREACH TO THE AFFECTED PEOPLE.

DELVING INTO THE PROBLEM THAT HAS REQUIRED US TO CONVENE HERE TODAY, THE POLICE HAVE PRESENTED SHOCKING STATISTICS ON THE SHARP INCREASE IN PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES ALONG THE BUSY MR3 ROAD (38, 000 VEHICLES PER DAY). AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SAID ‘ONE LIFE LOST IS ONE TOO MANY’.  THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM IS TRAUMATIZING AS PEDESTRIANS DIE ON DAILY BASIS; MOSTLY AT NIGHT.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM? AS YOU ALL KNOW, THE MATSAPHA – MANZINI ROAD IS UNDERGOING SERIOUS MAINTENANCE, HENCE THERE IS NO FREE FLOW OF TRAFFIC. SOMETIMES MOTORISTS ARE DELAYED AND ONCE THEY DRIVE THROUGH THE CONTROLLED AREAS, THEY ARE TEMPTED TO OVERSPEED YET THE ROAD PASSES THROUGH A HIGHLY POPULATED AREA (41, 000+)   WHERE PEDESTRIANS TAKE CHANCES TO QUICKLY CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD; WITHOUT WEIGHING THE RISK OF EMERGING FROM THE GAPS IN THE CONCRETE MEDIAN.   

IS IT ALSO IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPACT OF THE ROAD CRASHES THAT HAVE BEEN RECORDED ALONG THE MATSAPHA – MANZINI (MR3) ROAD.  A MAJORITY OF THE ROAD CRASHES HAVE CLAIMED THE LIVES OF THE ELDERLY AND EVEN THE YOUTH. IN SOME INSTANCES, THE VICTIMS HAVE DIED UNDER TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THEY ARE HIT BY OVERSPEEDING VEHICLES WITHOUT KNOWING IT.

FOR US TO ARREST THIS PROBLEM, I IMPLORE MOTORISTS TO OBSERVE THE CAUTION SIGNS AS THEY PASS THROUGH THE WORK-ZONE BETWEEN MATSAPHA AND NAZARENE IN MANZINI. I COMMEND KUKHANYA CIVIL ENGINEERING CONTRACTORS FOR POSTING TEMPORARY WARNING SIGNAGE AND PERSONNEL TO CAUTION MOTORISTS AS THEY PASS ALONG THE ACCIDENT- PRONE STRETCH.

PEDESTRIANS ARE ALSO STRICTLY WARNED NOT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GAPS BETWEEN THE CONCRETE BARRIERS BECAUSE MOTORISTS MIGHT NOT BE IN A POSITION SEE THEM ON TIME. THEY ARE ADVISED TO USE THE FOOT-BRIDGES AT ETETENI, ETENI, LOGOBA AND KAKHOZA. ALTERNATIVELY, THEY CAN USE THE UNDER-PASS AT KANDLUNGANYE AND MHLALENI. I REITERATE THE FACT THAT IT IS TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A PEDESTRIAN TO TAKE STRIDES AND CROSS THE DUAL CARRIAGEWAY WITHOUT BEING HIT BY A VEHICLE TRAVELLING AT 100KM/HR.

HIS MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT HAS INDEED ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE OF STEERING THE COUNTRY INTO DEVELOPED COUNTRY STATUS BY 2022. WHILE WE FOCUS ON DEVELOPING OUR COUNTRY, IT IS BY NO DOUBT THAT ROAD CRASHES SHOULD ALSO BE ELIMINATED. COMPLEMENT THE EFFORTS OF THE MINISTRY BY EMBRACING THE IMPROVED ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ESTABLISHES A SAFE PASSAGE FOR BOTH MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS.

IN CONCLUSION, ALLOW ME TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UPCOMING SADC HEADS OF STATES SUMMIT. YOUR ROLE IS TO OBSERVE ROAD SAFETY DURING THIS HIGH LEVEL EVENT. DON’T FORGET THAT AUGUST IS ONE OF THE BUSIEST MONTHS IN THE COUNTRY AS WE ALSO HOST UMHLANGA AND TRADE FAIR. KEEP IT IN MIND, YOUR LIFE COUNTS’. KHUMBULA KUNGAJUBELI NAWEWELA EMGWACWENI’.

I THANK YOU. 

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