NEWS
15/12/2017 13:15 SAST | Updated 15/12/2017 13:34 SAST

We're Being Promised Our Highways Are Ready For The Crazy Traffic This Festive Season

But it's also your responsibility to stay safe.

South African taxis.
Reuters Photographer / Reuters
South African taxis.

For many South Africans, the December holiday means travelling along a stretch of one or several of our national highways.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

According to the 2016/2017 annual report by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), almost 80 percent of road crashes in South Africa occur as a result of human factors, such as speeding and reckless behaviour.

You may have done the route many times and feel like it's become second nature. But be warned, you never know what's around the corner.

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson, Simon Zwane, told HuffPost that as far as the corporation is aware there will be no roadworks that may cause long delays for travellers this season.

"We have engaged with construction companies to finish off their work early this year to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the national routes," Zwane said.

Based on the extreme weather that some regions are experiencing, travellers are being urged not to travel during the night during the night but instead early in the morning. Most importantly, don't speed.

"We however urge people who will be on the roads to start travelling during the day when visibility is still clear to avoid any accidents," Zwane added.

Skhumbuzo Macozoma, CEO of the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL), said road safety is a major challenge during the festive period.

"Although there is a major drive from many institutions around road safety, accident statistics remain unacceptably high," Macozoma added.

He said the agency would double its efforts to promote road safety and it is pleased with the state of the roads to accommodate the holiday traffic.

"We visited several construction zones to determine the extent of roadworks and their impact on traffic. We are happy to say our roads are ready to accommodate the holiday traffic," said Macozoma.

Macozoma added that motorists can also visit the SANRAL website www.nra.co.za for help in planning their journeys.

SANRAL has also made available a series of videos to help motorists plan on their journeys: which route to use, what to expect on the road, the estimated expenditure for tolls and rest spots on the route. The videos can be downloaded from the link: https://we.tl/eIPxFEFvhv.

Here are the most popular national roads during the festive season and what makes them special:

N1

This highway stretches all the way from Cape Town to the Beit Bridge border post between Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is the main route between Cape Town and Johannesburg, which makes it a very busy one during the festive season as Gautengers make their way to the Cape and vice versa.

N2

This route is the main highway along South Africa's Indian Ocean coast, running all the way from Cape Town to Ermelo in Mpumalanga via Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban.

N3

Connecting Johannesburg and Durban, this route is also a much busier one as people head to the KZN seaside, which is much closer than the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape.