Premier to release RTI fitness test report

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu is on Wednesday expected to release a report into the deaths of eight applicants for traffic officer jobs.

Mchunu received the report earlier this month from the commission of inquiry.

At the time, Mchunu said the report was conducted thoroughly and dismissed claims that the inquiry was deliberately prolonged.

The commission probed the deaths of eight people who took part in a 4km run at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in December 2012.

The run formed part of a fitness test for job applicants. More than 40 000 people qualified to apply for 90 advertised Road Traffic Inspectorate trainee posts.

Of these, 20 000 applicants attended the test on 27 December and a similar number on 28 December.

In December 2013, the Sunday Times reported that costs for the inquiry were expected to increase to R14.2m from an original budget R5.5m set in February 2013.

Much of this had been reportedly used to pay lawyers appointed by the provincial transport department.

Lawyers had been reportedly racking up bills at the rate of R1.5m a month, with one advocate invoicing the department for R1 008 587 04.

Providing a meal of curry and rice and cool drinks for the approximately 50 people attending the commission cost R494 962.

Other expenses included R424 164 for audiovisual services and R230 000 for travel costs.

The commission's deadline was extended from March 2014 to August 2014.