In monetary terms, the number of people who lost their lives during the period cost the economy in excess of US$11.2 million, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula told the media.
Releasing the 2019/20 Festive Season Road Safety Report, Mbalula said the total number of fatal crashes was down by 3% from 1,438 in 2018/19 to 1,390 in 2019/20.
“This resulted in a 10% reduction in the number of fatalities from 1,789 fatalities in 2018/19 to 1,617 fatalities in the 2019/20 festive season,” the minister said.
The report covers the period from 1 December 2019 to 15 January 2020.
Mbalula said his ministry's analysis "further demonstrates that the main causes of fatal crashes over this period were pedestrians, single vehicle overturning, hit and run and head-on collisions."
“The majority of road users who died on the roads were pedestrians (40%), passengers (34%), drivers (25%) and cyclists (1%),” Mbalula said.
A total of 9,414 motorists were arrested for various offences, including drunken driving, speeding, reckless and negligent driving, and for outstanding warrants, he added.