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Bakkie mayhem: SA death toll climbs

2015-02-02 11:56

WHAT'S BEING DONE? A bakkie carrying pupils crashed into a house (pictured here) on Edendale Road, Pietermaritzburg. What's being done to stop this practice? Image: News24/ ER24

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - Eight people were killed when the bakkie in which they were riding rolled on the N3 near the Marlboro on-ramp.

Johannesburg metro police reported on Saturday (Jan 31) that the driver was one of eight men killed out of EIGHTEEN people on the bakkie when it crashed around 11.15am.

The cause of the crash had not been established on Sunday (Feb 1 2015) but police said a case of culpable homicide would be opened. That despite the driver of the bakkie being one of the dead.

The crash in Jozi follows another in Pietermaritzburg that claimed the lives of seven children. The driver of an overloaded bakkie crashed into a house, collapsing part of the structure.


Then on Friday (Jan 30) eight children were injured when an out-of-control car pushed two other vehicles into them outside their school in Reservoir Hills, Durban. An emergency service spokesman said: "A vehicle collided with two stationary vehicles which then hit the children waiting for transport home."

The car driver and the children were taken to hospital. Police are still investigating.

This was the third crash involving children in kwaZulu-Natal in as many days. Seven children were killed on Wednesday (Jan 28) when a bakkie overturned and crashed into a house in Pietermaritzburg. Another dozen sustained critical injuries.

VIDEO: Bakkie-crash fatalities rears its ugly head

On Thursday (Jan 29), 22 children were injured, five of them seriously, when a bus and minibus collided in Unlazi. Hydraulic shears were used to free the critically injured minibus driver from the wreck.

And it's only first month of 2015...


In past few months we've seen horrific bakkie crashes throughout South Africa. Apart from condolences by MEC's, is anything being done to stop people from being transported like cattle?

Bakkie crashes keep occurring and despite fatal incidents nothing ever gets done to stop this highly dangerous practice. The root of the problem lies in regulation 247 and 250 of the National Road Traffic act. With regards to transporting children, 247 states that provided children are sitting on the floor, and that the sides and rear door of the body are 350mm high (if standing 900mm high), it's perfectly legal to do so.

Video: What the law says about overladen bakkies

Section 250 also states that no person, adult or child, can be carried in the goods section of a "goods vehicle" for reward. So what about those who transport children to and from schools?

Here are some horror crashes reported on Wheels24:

Kids flung from bakkie in horror SA crash

In October 2014, the Western Cape, through its 'Safely Home' campaign, revealed shocking footage of bakkie crash. The video showed a vehicle smashing into the rear of a bakkie causing it the collide into the road barrier, destroying its load bay carrying children.

Bakkie crash: Another TEN killed

In December 2014, Wheels24 reported that ten people were killed in a collision involving a bakkie near Atamelang township in the Tswaing Local Municipality, North West. According to police, a VW Golf and a Toyota bakkie collided. Four people were in the Golf which was travelling to Delareyville; the bakkie was en route to Atamelang and was carrying nine people.

10-dead crash bakkie 'unroadworthy'

In December 2014, Wheels24 reported that 10 people when the bakkie they were travelling in collided with a truck. The provincial transport department said the vehicle had no roadworthy certificate and "it became clear to us when we saw the wreckage of the bakkie that it was not in good condition". 


Wheels24 reader J Coveney said: "It is with anger that I write this. It seems that this is the accepted mode of transport for many people whether it be  the transportation of workers, children, animals.

"The road safety officers turn a blind eye to these transgressors, but for minor traffic infringements the owners are find. The law regarding the transportation of humans needs urgent amendments. This practise is accepted by all South Africans and is treated as  the norm.

"A lot of these infringements are also culminated by a very inadequate public transport, whether it be by rail, buses etc. The government has failed to enforce traffic laws and increase a more friendly public transport system."

What do you think should be done to curb bakkie crashes? Should it be illegal to transport passengers in the load bay of an open-topped bakkie? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

We'd also like to hear from a national government representative - approaches have received no response.

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