Some national Cabinet Ministers appear to have an extraordinary need for speed, not to mention a flagrant disregard for the law and the lives of others.
A reply to a DA parliamentary question received today reveals Minister Susan Shabangu as the most significant offender. She has racked up R64 060 in traffic fines between April 2009 and March 2012.
The total Cabinet tally (from received replies) amounts to a staggering R173 140. This is further proof that our government ministers and their blue light bullies believe that they are above the law.
The Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, incurred fines totalling R40 000 between April 2010 and March 2012. Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson comes in third with fines worth R30 400.
I will be asking follow-up questions to Minister Shabangu to determine:
Which rules of the road were violated for each fine;
whether the fines have been paid, and if so – who paid them; and
how fast the Minister was driving in the case of each speeding fine.
President Jacob Zuma lamented over the weekend that the ‘death of each citizen on the road is unacceptable and painful’ and how, even though there are repeated deaths, ‘we must not lose our collective sense of weeping’. Perhaps the President should invoke the same sentiment in his Cabinet, given that their driving behaviour is evidently part of the pandemic that makes South Africa’s roads a killing field.
If Minister Shabangu has a need for speed, she should rather apply this to speeding up certainty around minerals policy, the lack of which continues to cost thousands of jobs.
Our national Ministers should be setting an example for the rest of the country to follow. Instead, they are showing the rest of South Africa that they have no regard for human life. They should be ashamed of themselves. It is only a matter of time before one of our speeding Ministers claims a victim on our roads.