GOVERNMENT does not have modalities for social safety nets to cater for families left behind by victims of road carnage, Transport minister Joram Gumbo has said.
BY NIZBERT MOYO
Gumbo was responding to public concerns that government seems only able to help with the burial of victims, while forgetting the surviving families, who might have lost breadwinners.
“Yes, it is a good idea. I am also thinking about it (looking after surviving families). People must talk about it and you must write about it, but there is no Bill so far to that effect. It is a process, it has to go through various stages in my office so that we can come up with a way of handling the issue,” he said. “It was also raised in Parliament last week.”
Gumbo’s remarks come in the wake of the death of 14 people, mostly family members on their way to bury a child, in a horrific accident just outside Bulawayo two weeks ago.
Nketa-Mganwini MP Phelela Masuku told mourners at the burial of one of the victims that it was incumbent upon government to provide social safety nets that also cater for surviving families after an accident.
“The government must come up with a law that will enable it to provide an insurance cover for road accident victims, including their dependents. South Africa has what is known as the public liability insurance,” he said.
Masuku said most of the people who died in the accidents were breadwinners, a situation that was forcing the dependents into destitution immediately.
However, he thanked members of the community for the assistance they rendered to the bereaved families in the aftermath of the accident.
“I want to thank all members of the community who assisted the Sibanda family, various denominations, businesspeople, vendors, residents’ association and Tshova Mbaiwa for providing 20 commuter omnibuses, as well as the moral support during this difficult time,” Masuku said.