In the Driver’s Seat
Light Med Com Heavy com Total
com, Vehicles Vehicles
Minibus South Africa’s economy is heading for crisis with regards to
Mar. 2008 16 616 1 321 712 18 649
the supply of petroleum products. Demand for fuel and oil has
grown by about 15% in the last five years, representing an
Mar. 2008 7 663 15 15 7 693
additional 3-billion litres a year – and is likely to increase by a
similar amount within the next few years.
South Africa’s taxi industry gets set for electronic Demand in inland areas has grown even faster, with the result
fare revolution that the infrastructure for refining and transporting petroleum
products from the coast requires rapid expansion in order to
ensure that demand can be met.
Electronic fare collection (EFC) will be rolled out in selected minibus On the eve of the one of the biggest fuel price rises the country
taxis on April 1.This means commuters will be able to simply swipe a has been – 61 cents a litres for petroleum and 78 cents a litre
card to pay their fare, rather than hand cash to taxi drivers.
for diesel – pumps ran dry at a number of service stations as
SurePaw Technologies is implementing the technology on behalf of
motorist attempted to beat the hike’s midnight deadline.
the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco).
That scenario is likely to be replayed again and again as petrol
retailer’s battle to obtain sufficient supplies to meet the
The roll-out will start on the Johannesburg to Tshwane route, says demands of motoring public determined to beat what industry
SurePaw MD Chris Dewe.The route handles 10 000 commuters on a observers believe will be a series of hefty price increases
weekday, and 14 000 on weekend days, depending on sports events. imposed on the first Wednesday of Each Month.
According to a Government spokesman, an increase of more
“Government needs to formalise the taxi industry. It needs to see the than 20 cents a litre for petrol is on the cards for April 2.
routes and number of commuters on these routes before it is willing While the cost of diesel – which doesn’t benefit from the
to subsidise the taxi industry,” explains Dewe.Government currently regulated prices – is likely to rise even more steeply.
only subsidises rail and bus commuter services.“So far, we have
equipped 180 taxis with card readers,” says Dewe. Those increases come as a result of a rise in the fuel levy
proposed by Finance Minister Trevor Manual in his 2008
Commuters can buy a one-way card, or a reloadable card, from Budget speech, and in the wake of performance averages
cashiers located at taxi ranks.They are also able to quickly check the involving the rand-dollar exchange rate and the price of crude.
balance on these cards by means of card readers installed at the taxi The effect on consumer’s pockets will be significant, further
ranks. eroding confidence in the economy and delaying the advert of
a turnaround in the already recessionary vehicle sales arena,
Dewe says implementation was hampered by the fact that not all where dealerships are restructuring and modifying their
taxis had the necessary permits required by the Department of business strategies. Some closures are to be expected.
Transport. Also, an alternative had to be devised to ensure taxi Similarly, Government’s decision not to heed calls to regulate
drivers could refuel their vehicles without cash. the price of diesel – which is more cost-effective to use than
Taxis operating between Tshwane and Johannesburg will now stop petrol and cheaper to refine-, will continue to have a negative
at the New Road petrol station on the N1 to refill, as part of a special influence on the market. The RMI has long promoted the
arrangement. regulated price for diesel – and now is the time , in consumer
interest, for that recommendation to be implemented.
“EFC will eventually be rolled out to all 75 000 taxis under the The Department of Minerals and Energy is currently engaged
Santaco umbrella,” says Dewe.He says SurePaw will recover the in a major review of the way in which the industry’s
implementation costs of the project through the transport fee.EFC is marketing profits are made. The review is aimed at finding a
set to be rolled out to all forms of public transport in South Africa, replacement to the longstanding Marketing of Petroleum
including bus and rail services. Products Return Formula – commonly referred to as MPAR –
but there is not much time left to sort out the issue.
The basic outlines for EFC will be presented to the Minister of The growing market and increasing risk of stock-outs is fast
Transport by the end of this month, says Department of Transport reaching crisis proportion. Just as the failed supply of
public transport strategy director Ibrahim Seedat. electricity has been to the country’s economic detriment so,
too, will be the consequence of failing to maintain an efficient,
Dewe and Seedat spoke at an Intelligent Transport Systems South affordable fuel supply.
By: Irma Venter
Eskom faces roads headache
trucking coal to plants
South African utility Eskom, struggling to fix a severe power crisis,
faces another headache in trucking urgently needed coal to power ROAD TRANSPORT LEGISLATION
stations on crumbling and heavily used roads.
Eskom said it will take 900 trucks to get the 45-million tonnes of extra
coal the utility needs over the next two years to exlusively feed its
power stations in coal-rich Mpumalanga province, which has some of
the country's worst roads.
The quality of the coal and getting it to Eskom's coal-fed power
stations, which are concentrated in Mpumalanga in north east South
Africa, are among Eskom's biggest worries in the power crisis."Most of
our additional coal will be trucked which means unfortunately road ! # "
" $ %& (
transport and that's a big factor, with the damage on the road," Eskom
spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.
+ # ,"& ) $
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"It's logistically challenging, particularly in bad weather when the " % ) $ + " 0
+ .(&' (+ ( /* & '
roads are wet. This is not a simple exercise. It means another 900 trucks
on the road in Mpumalanga which is a huge amount."Provincial roads
have suffered the same fate as Eskom, experts say, in which years of ) . &) )
+" 1 " 2( + ) '+ .,)
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underinvestment culminated in widespread supply shortages in ,+ &. ,) 5) " . ) $
/) ) (24 ) * ( $ . + * 6 " 0 " (
January, shutting the mines in Africa's largest economy and slashing " * $ & + "
coal exports. , ( - ( " " $ &+ . & -
' ., '
"Exactly what is happening in Eskom is happening in the roads," /! $ 6
" &) %$' 0 .* 1
Malcolm Mitchell, executive director of the South African Road
Federation, an association of road-sector professionals, told " $ & " 3'+ .( &
7 ) *" ' & '
Reuters."Just as the problems in our electricity supply are causing . $ %&.' * &/ . 8 )
( 5) ( $) " '*) 8 .(& $ &* . $ !
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economic havoc within our country, so too our rapidly deteriorating $ . . ( . 2
provincial and municipal road network will have severe consequences 3. & ( ( 4
for our economic and social life."South African roads are riddled with
5 .' "6
" $ - 9 ) $ 0%11& " & 6 5)' .6 *
&/%* $ 9
potholes, rutted and slippery surfaces and suffer a lack of roadside
maintenance, Mitchell said. ' 1 & 5) &" 4 &. 8 $ &* $ &/ $ 8 '
, ) ( . 4 " 3) ) ( ." 2( ." ." 8
.) * & 5 $ !
4 " . $ ' (%. 8 ' "
RULE OF THUMB
Worldwide a rule of thumb for measuring the competence of road " " # 1-+ 1% 7 & &
authorities is the time taken to repair potholes, with 48 hours a norm " 8 "
for rural roads, and 12 for freeways and motorways."In South Africa $" 9 # 7 : & ( .
potholes often are not attended to for up to six months," Mitchell
said.The last comprehensive survey of provincial roads was carried out , 2 8 %
eight years ago, when the figure for roads falling into the "poor and
very poor category" ranged from 8 percent for the Western Cape, the 1<
" ; " # # : 1$ < 7 " # $
only province to meet generally recognised acceptable standards, to 62 " % " # $" %
percent in the worst.
9 $ &: 7 0 1 "
$ & " 01 " $ & "
"It is generally accepted that not more than 10 percent of the network
-+=%1" $ > 7 0%11& " & 6 1
should fall into the "poor and very poor" categories," Mitchell
said."Perhaps it's not as dramatic as your lights getting turned off, but
now you can't go from one place to another."The national roads
department was not immediately available to comment, but the
provincial department in Mpumalanga said it was aware of Eskom's
concerns about the state of the roads as a result of heavy trucking and '
;($) 4 " +
In an emailed response to questions, it said it was working with Eskom
to improve the roads, particularly on the critical routes from coal
mines to power plants.It said it would need 3 billion rand within the
next three to five years to upgrade the coal haulage network. "So far,
the department is currently sourcing such funds," it said, adding
Eskom had pledged 550 million rand.
South Africa's coal fields are concentrated in Mpumalanga, where
Eskom has most of its coal-fired plants.
All in Mpumalanga are linked to specific coal mines, except Majuba,
one of its biggest power stations, and Eskom is hoping to build a rail
link from the mines to the power plant.
Carmakers say search for
alternative fuels is a priority
The need to find alternative-fuel sources has been identified as the
number-one trend in a survey of the global automotive-industry
executives conducted by financial services group KPMG.
! " # $ !" # %
KPMG, which engaged in over 100 interviews with senior executives at &
vehicle manufacturers and suppliers worldwide in compiling the
survey, said that the production of low cost and hybrid cars also
emerged as a key thrust. ! " ' %
Those surveyed stated that quality (86%) and fuel efficiency (84%) (
were the two key factors that would drive consumers when making a ( )
purchasing decision in the next five years. Other top consumer criteria
* + % ,- . /% .
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are safety at 70% and affordability at 69%.
Participants in the KPMG survey also felt that car buyers would want . 0&
vehicles that used alternative-fuel sources - this criteria has increased
in importance last year' 53% to 65%. ! % %
"The industry knows where it is and knows where it needs to be. It
. 2 +
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needs to produce quality vehicles that are fuel efficient, especially in (
this economic cycle, and it needs to invest heavily in developing ) . 2% )
alternative sources of power. We found the executives in our survey $ % $ +3 3,
more optimistic than past years, and this is largely because the
landscape before them is clearer on the direction they need to go," said . /% 0+ . 2&
Gavin Maile, national automotive industry leader for KPMG, at a 1 % 12 &
presentation in Johannesburg.
To meet demand, 81% percent of executives said that in the next five 4 3%2 . /%
years, in terms of global market share and units sold, they expect major
increases in low cost, or introduction cars and an equal percentage . 0% 1/ , 2 , % . 2%
expect increases in hybrids. .2 &
On the other hand, categories of vehicles expected to fall were sports 56 $ 7 $
utility vehicles (SUVs) and large pick-ups, with 47% projecting a
SUVs and 50%. $. 2& 8 7
00 - - %9 &
Affordability in South Africa was also a key requirement and the
increasing sales of entry-level vehicles was, thus, expected be
replicated inthe local market. However the trend with SUVs did not
carry through locally with, the percentage of total sales of SUVs and % &
large pick-ups not forecast to follow the worldwide decline.
Asked to rate the importance of automotive product innovations over $ % $
the next five years, 79% cited hybrid systems and 78% fuel-cell
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technology, with safety innovations trailing at 67%.
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My name is Joy Oldale.
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I started my career at the
RMI as a Membership
Development Officer in
Whilst my direct responsibilities
have been focussed on
membership growth, I have 6 ! 7 - 86 9
made it my business to become 6 ! 7 !,,8- - : 9
involved in all aspects of the
business and have as a result 6 ! + ; < 6 !- =- 6 9
gained experience in most aspects of the business of
managing industry, amongst others – trade
issues, association accreditation, membership + $" >
acquisition, branding and training. Prior to joining the
RMI I was employed in the field of Public
Relations, which has aided my success within this very ? $ 7 )> ) "
complex industry. $ $" 4
I have now been set the task of making a difference in ! $ $" 7 $ $
lives of the many businesses and people involved in the
motor vehicle testing arena, as the RMI’s new Director of
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NVTA and I can assure of my best efforts in this regard. ) # $ $"
In addition to my main focus as NVTA director I will be
assisting our SAVABA association in growing its $ # )4
membership in both the Western and Eastern Cape.
RMI (Retail Motor Industry Organization)
, ) ) @ $ 7
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www.rmi.org.za @ % &* C % & 1
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RMI would like to start a PEOPLE Page in the
Automobil regarding all changes in Senior Staff
movements at your workshop.
Please inform Claire Patterson on