The Eastern Cape Transport Department has blamed human error and drunken and reckless driving for the carnage on the province's roads this weekend.
In a statement issued on Monday, MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, lamented the loss of 27 lives, including that of a nine-month-old baby, in several accidents across the province.
She says of particular concern is that 20 of those fatalities were recorded between Friday and Saturday.
The MEC says cases of culpable homicide have been opened for each of these deadly crashes, with the aim of holding perpetrators to account.
Vital evidence such as blood samples has been collected in cases of suspected drunken driving which would be used when the cases go on trial.
Five of the deceased were drivers.