KZN Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda has called on road users to respect the rules of the road.
The call came after a fatal crash that claimed the lives of seven people on the R74 near Bergville on Saturday.
Kaunda said preliminary investigations showed that a car was trying to overtake a taxi when it crashed head-on with an oncoming truck.
The taxi was also involved in the same crash.
Six passengers died on the scene, while the seventh person died on the way to hospital.
Nine others were critically hurt and two escaped with minor injuries.
“The injured were taken to Emmaus Hospital and Ladysmith Provincial Hospital to receive medical care.
“The four dead women were allegedly in the taxi, while the other two were in the car.
“The death of another passenger who succumbed to her injuries at Emmaus Hospital brought the death toll to seven,” said Kaunda.
He said it was found that the taxi was travelling from Durban to QwaQwa when the crash occurred. The dead were not yet identified.
“We call for a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. Department officials are gathering information to establish if the dead are from KZN or the Free State,” said Kaunda.
He said the department expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the dead and wished those in hospital a speedy recovery.
“It’s deeply saddening that we continue to experience crashes that could have been avoided if road rules were thoroughly observed,” said Kaunda.