Pretoria — Road accidents are costing South Africa's economy R142.95 billion, says Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
This was according to a 2016 study conducted by Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
Speaking on Monday at the 3rd National Road Safety Summit in Durban, Minister Peters said the loss on the economy translated to 3.4% of South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and it was 1.4% higher than the international benchmark.
These costs included human casualty which stood at 69.3%, while vehicle repairs cost 14.9% and incidents and infrastructure cost 15.8%.
"We cannot afford to allow the economic impact of road fatalities to circumvent our common vision and objectives as spelled out by the National Development Plan (NDP), which seeks to address the triple challenges namely, unemployment, poverty and inequality by 2030," Minister Peters said.
Minister Peters said the department was also in the process of establishing Community Road Safety Councils as part of its social up-liftment and reconstruction programme in line with the NDP. The structures will be established by 2017.
"We are working on the process of enhancing the inclusion of road safety in the school curriculum especially as part of life orientation," she said.
The department is also working at introducing traffic courts to give necessary attention to traffic offences which are viewed as negligible offences.