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SATMC launches tyre safety programme to boost road safety

The SATMC demonstrated the importance of tyre care as part of a safety programme launch

The SATMC demonstrated the importance of tyre care as part of a safety programme launch

1st September 2023

     

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Industry body the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) hosted a launch event for its tyre safety programme on September 1, in Pretoria.

The event involved the SATMC inviting stakeholders – including original-equipment manufacturers, automotive dealers, members of government, national traffic police, and others – to discuss, demonstrate and emphasise the importance of tyre safety in preventing road accidents in South Africa.

SATMC MD Nduduzo Chala stressed that a lack of proper safety oversight and regulation – particularly in terms of tyre management - had contributed to high rates of vehicle crashes in South Africa.

For this reason, he discussed the need for more urgent inspection, fixing and replacing of worn tyres, particularly tyres which had a tread wear indicator that was already levelled to the tread of the tyre.

Chala stated that road fatalities in South Africa in 2021 and 2022 were recorded as 12 541 and 12 436, respectively.

Further, the cost of crashes amounted to R188.3-billion in 2021, and R198.8-billion last year.

Chala highlighted the impact of worn tyres in road accidents, saying it was among the biggest contributors to road accidents.

Chala listed poor waste tyre management, the trade of second-hand tyres, low disposable income for South Africans, poor infrastructure and a lack of regulatory enforcement as some of the biggest reasons why there were so many substandard tyres in use.

“That cycle doesn't work properly in the sense that once your tyres have reached their useful life, it should be that there is a proper management of waste tyres that get collected properly and disposed of or recycled. We are now finding that there are leakages in the market, and those tyres end up indirectly being sold to consumers.”

He stressed the need for consumers to avoid purchasing and using part-worn or second-hand tyres, owing to the fact that they were unregulated, and were often not ideal for use.

Automotive dealers are also not able to confirm the technical history of second-hand tyres.

This has contributed to over two-million second-hand tyres being present in the local market, he added, as South Africans are drawn towards saving money with these tyres owing to a lack of disposable income.

Chala also highlighted the need for more consistent regulation of the roadworthiness of tyres.

“When you go through a different province, with Section 213 of the National Road Traffic Act, different provinces interpret it and enforce it differently.

"The programme that we have structured as the SATMC tries to raise awareness and address that problem and say that enforcement of the law should be as it is. There have also been some amendments that we have proposed, as some of the legislation and regulations have now been updated and are not aligned to what is currently the reality in the market, and which makes enforcement difficult”.

He also emphasised the poor state of road infrastructure in many parts of the country, and that addressing this would also contribute to reducing vehicle accidents.

“The objective of today is to align that we have, as the SATMC, created a programme on tyre safety, and we are proud to have partners today who have the same ambitions as us.”

INDUSTRY COLLABORATION

National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) executive director Renai Moothilal at the event highlighted the role of NAACAM in seeking to positively impact the operating environment for component and tyre producers in the local automotive manufacturing value chain.

“The tyre-producing community and the four companies that make up the SATMC are key as part of that discussion and framework. The SATMC has been a long-standing sister organization to NAACAM, and we work very closely on a whole host of issues that fall under the many representative bodies for those in the manufacturing value chain.”

He also noted the importance of the SATMC in using the event to launch its tyre safety programme for the rest of the year.

“The issue of road safety and tyre safety are inextricably linked. As we go into that December period where road accidents are more frequent, the more we will emphasise this message of safety to have the impact we want to see”.

SATMC chairperson Lubin Ozoux stated that on August 31, NAACAM hosted its last day of its yearly NAACAM Show for 2023, and that NAACAM members announced a commitment to invest R4.6-billion into the local automotive manufacturing industry.

Of this amount, R2.5-billion was contributed from local manufacturers, and Ozoux stated that this would contribute to increasing the quality of tyres produced in South Africa.

“What is exciting is this tyre safety programme that we have in partnership with the Road Accident Fund, the Department of Transport and Master Drive. It brings manufacturers together in an initiative that is growing, and our ambition is to see how we can scale this initiative going forward,” Ozoux stated.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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