president Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed a message of condolence to the government and people of Senegal following a bus accident that killed around 40 passengers and injured more than 100 passengers.
Bus accident in Senegal
The accident was reported to have happened in the early hours of Sunday morning when two buses collided in the central Kaffrine region of Senegal.
President Ramaphosa said in a statement on Wednesday evening: “On behalf of the people of South Africa, the government and myself, I wish to express our condolences to my dear brother, President Macky Sall, to his government, to the families in mourning and to the people of Senegal for their tragic loss.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time of mourning their loved ones.”
Senegal stops night buses
Meanwhile, the Senegalese government decided on Tuesday to ban night buses between cities and towns after the death toll in a weekend head-on crash left 40 dead.
The import of used tires from abroad was also outlawed in a list of measures announced after one of the worst road disasters in years, caused by a flat tire.
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More than 100 people were also injured when two buses collided early Sunday on an arterial road 250 kilometers from the capital in the central Kaffrine region.
The death toll rose to 40 after one of the injured died on Monday afternoon during a transfer to a hospital in Dakar, according to a government statement.
The accident was attributed to the rupture of a tire and raised a torrent of criticism against the official failure to enforce traffic rules and guarantee the proper maintenance of vehicles.
Prime Minister Amadou Ba convened an inter-ministerial council on Monday that includes transporters, drivers, insurers and security services to agree on the measures to be taken to prevent these tragedies.
Minibuses, as well as buses carrying goods and not just passengers, will be banned from the roads between 11pm and 5am.
The speed of vehicles carrying goods and people will also be limited to 90 kilometers per hour (56 mph).
The new rules would be implemented “without delay or compromise,” Prime Minister Ba promised.
“We will not show any concessions to those who contravene the rules decided to guarantee the physical integrity of our citizens,” he said.
Traffic accidents in Senegal
Road accidents are common in the West African country, largely due to driver error, poor roads and decrepit vehicles, experts say. But the latest disaster resulted in one of the worst single-incident deaths in recent years.
According to the World BankSenegal’s road death rate is 24 per 100,000 of a population of 17 million.
It is six per 100,000 in the European Union and two in Switzerland, while sub-Saharan Africa has a death rate of 27.
The government announced three days of national mourning starting Monday, with flags flying at half-mast across the country.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe. Additional reports from AFP.
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