- Says it spends P200m per year on claims in the wake of over 400 deaths on roads in Botswana per year
- Botswana’s fatality rate of 18 deaths per 100K per 100K population higher than the 9.2 deaths per 100K for developed countries
The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund will hold two events as part of its road safety project styled Mphatlalatsane Strategic Plan 2023-2027.
The events, Safe Mobility Cycling & Run, and Safe Mobility Forum, are billed for 2 and 3 July 2023 respectively. Briefing journalists in Gaborone this week, the CEO of MVA Fund, Michael Tlhagwane, said the UN Global Plan of Decade of Acton for Road Safety 2021-2030 has identified road traffic crashes as an urgent development priority and public health challenge that demands immediate action.
“We cannot rest on our laurels while we continue to lose many lives as a result of preventable road crashes,” he said. “The Fund is cognisant of the aspirations of our country to transform our economy from upper-middle income to high-income status by the year 2036.”
However, Tlhagwane added, achieving both global and national aspirations is almost impossible without an accessible, efficient, sustainable and safe transport system. Painting a grim picture of the situation, Tlhagwane told journalists that over the last 10 years, Botswana has been experiencing high numbers of road traffic injuries and deaths, with an average of 415 fatalities per year.
“The average fatality rate is 18 deaths per 100 000 population, which is slightly higher than the global index of 17.4 and much higher the 9.2 deaths per 100 000 for high-income countries. “This road safety situation in Botswana threatens national efforts of economic transformation due to the negative impact of road traffic crashes on the socio-economic and public health landscape.” He disclosed that 185 lives have already been lost in Botswana this year due to road traffic crashes compared to 184 deaths in the corresponding period last year.
Age group 21 to 40 years
Tlhagwane said on average, males account for 70 percent of annual fatalities while females account for the remaining 30 percent. Further, the age group 21 to 40 years accounts for 68 percent of annual fatalities. He informed the journalists that the MVA Fund spends an average of P200 million annually in claims and compensation costs to provide social security cover to victims of road traffic crashes.
To remedy the situation, he added, the MVA Fund has added advocacy as one of its strategic initiatives to drive action towards adopting safety management best practices. To that end, the MVA Fund has identified specific areas for improvement for Botswana to change its road safety landscape towards achieving safer mobility. These include prioritising road safety, adopting a safe systems approach, and devising an effective road safety leadership structure.