Over 1,700 people died on South Africa's roads this festive season, a 5 percent increase from the previous festive season.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters attributed the deaths to drivers' attitudes and drunk driving. She also said the department would be working with the trade and industry department on the current alcohol laws.
The minister said the justice and transport departments wanted the drunk driving offence converted to a a schedule five offence. This has been seen as sign that a crackdown on drunk drivers could be on the cards.
A schedule 5 offence is one of the most serious in South Africa and includes offences such as rape, murder and treason.
The recommended minimum sentence for a schedule 5 offence is 15 years in jail. Bail would apply after a long process in court.