Organized by the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), the Africa Road Safety 2017 Conference took place in Cape Town, South Africa on 23-24 October 2017 and discussed road safety on the continent and the ways to meet the fast approaching SDG target on road deaths and injuries. It brought together key players from governments, institutions, industry, and civil society partners from several African countries. The Special Envoy was invited to deliver his welcome remarks, while calling for global efforts and commitment to achieving the goals of the Decade of Action. In his speech, the Special Envoy highlighted the opportunities within the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the African Road Safety Action Plan, the importance of improved data collection, and urged for increased investment and commitment to improving road safety.
Mr. BC Hlabisa, Deputy Director General, Department of Transport
The Special Envoy provided an overview of his mandate, activities and on-going road safety efforts. He congratulated South Africa on its exemplary road safety performance in the region, which was demonstrated by the mid-term review of the African Road Safety Action Plan. They agreed that there are many opportunities to improve road safety in South Africa including by acceding to the remaining three UN Road Safety Conventions and better implementing those already acceded.
Africa’s largest economy, South Africa is a middle-income country with a population of 55.9 million inhabitants. WHO estimates 13,273 road traffic fatalities annually, suggesting a fatality rate of 25.1 per 100,000 people. South Africa is a contracting party to three out of six UN Road Safety Conventions. According to WHO, South Africa has strong laws on safety-belts, however, the remaining risk factors, such as drink-driving, speeding, child restraint and helmet use, need to be adequately addressed.