Beatrice Shongwe, News24 Correspondent
Kaapsehoop – The continued deaths of horses on the D799 road in the historic Mpumalanga town of Kaapsehoop have prompted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to request provincial traffic management authorities to consider reducing the speed limit in the area.
SPCA chairperson in Barberton, Marcelle Hoffman, told a News24 correspondent that they currently had 200 horses in the area, but were worried that the number was being reduced due to road accidents.
“At least one horse is killed every month. The road leading through the town unfortunately has a large number of trucks and tourist vehicles over weekends and holidays. The idea is to lower the current speed limit from 100km/h to 60km/h. This will give the drivers and horses more time to react,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman explained that the horses grazed along the side of the road and became frightened when vehicles passed in large numbers.
“They also often cross the road in misty or rainy conditions. The driver of the vehicle might not see them soon enough to avoid an accident. Horses struck by vehicles can break bones and have massive internal damage. A broken leg on a horse is a very painful and difficult injury to treat. They are not used to being confined to a stable and taken away from their herd.
“The Barberton SPCA would like to see the Kaapsehoop horses live in a safe and healthy environment in coexistence with the tourists and residence of this beautiful town,” she added.
Provincial community safety, security and liaison spokesperson, Joseph Mabuza, said he had advised the SPCA to send their request to the department so they could determine what should happen next.
“We don’t want accidents, even if it involves animals. Once we receive the request, our engineers will then give us a way forward on this matter,” said Mabuza.