JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,612 road deaths were recorded during festive season in South Africa, said Transport Minister Blade Nzimande when he released preliminary road safety report on Wednesday in Pretoria.
The report covers the period from December 1, 2018 to January 8, 2019. It shows an over 5 percent increase compared to the 1, 527 fatalities which were recorded in the 2017/18 season.
Kwazulu-Natal contributed the most with 328 fatalities, followed by the Eastern Cape at 238. Minibuses and trucks were involved in some of the most horrific accidents, killing 54 people.
He said alcohol and substance abuse, negligent driving and unroadworthy vehicles are among contributing factors behind road carnage.
The minister noted that 58 percent of road deaths involved alcohol during the 2018/19 festive season.
The minister also said that rooting out corruption in the issuing of drivers licences would assist in reducing road deaths.
"Our focused attention on corruption resulted in the arrest of 17 officials implicated in issuing learner licences and roadworthy certificates. The officials were arrested in Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal and Limpopo."