South Africa’s Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters says road accidents are costing South Africa’s economy R142.95 billion.

Peters assertion was based on a 2016 study conducted by Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

The Minister lamented that the loss on the economy is tantamount to 3.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And that the outrageous loss is 1.4 percent higher than the international benchmark.

Minister Peters was speaking today at the 3rd National Road Safety Summit in Durban when she made the revelations. According to her, the costs include that of human casualty which stood at 69.3 percent.

While vehicle repairs cost was valued at 14.9 percent, incidents and infrastructure cost takes 15.8 percent.

With the foregoing, the Minister wailed that the country “cannot afford to allow the economic impact of road fatalities to circumvent (its) common vision and objectives as spelled out by the National Development Plan (NDP), which seeks to address the triple challenges (of) unemployment, poverty and inequality by 2030.”

Thereafter, Peters divulged that her department is about to establish Community Road Safety Councils as part of its social upliftment and reconstruction programme in line with the NDP.

All things being equal, the structures will be established by 2017. The department is also striving to introduce traffic courts that will give the necessary attention to traffic offences which are viewed as negligible offences.

“We are working on the process of enhancing the inclusion of road safety in the school curriculum especially as part of life orientation,” added Minister Peters.

Meanwhile, about R20 million will be spent on three projects designed to address Gauteng’s public transport challenges. The projects which will be carried out by Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are expected to be completed in 10 months.