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Goodbye 2022

The South African economy has been dealt one blow after the other in 2022, most recently the Transnet strike saw our major ports shut down for 12 days. According to Business Unity South Africa, the cumulative impact has resulted in logistics costs of R7 billion, as goods worth R65.3 billion stood idle. The knock-on effect is far-reaching and will be felt for many years to come. Fortunately for the automotive industry there seem to be some improvements on the horizon. With fuel prices and interests rate continuing to rise consumers are more cash-strapped than ever.

However, it does seem like supply in terms of new cars and the chip shortage will return to normal levels during 2023. This will hopefully result in the normalisation of pre-owned vehicle prices and parts and provide some relief for consumers and the industry as a whole. With the three-year anniversary of COVID-19 fast approaching, I believe that the worst is behind us and that we will move closer to the normal we once knew next year.

Drive safely

South African roads are an extremely dangerous place, especially during the festive season. Regular motorists as well as commercial vehicle operators need to do everything they can to try and mitigate this carnage.

Don’t drink and drive

Many South Africans like to unwind over the festive season by indulging in alcoholic beverages and this is a big contributor to fatalities on our roads. While it is not just motorists who are to blame, many drunk pedestrians also contribute to this statistic. The bottom line is that drinking and driving do not mix, if you are planning on drinking rather sleep over, elect a designated driver or use public transport.

Avoid overloading

Overloading is another big contributing factor to the festive season death toll. Overloading, especially of trailers can lead to axle or tyre failure with catastrophic effects for the tow vehicle and other road users. Avoid the temptation to overload vehicles or trailers, it could save your life. The maximum weight allowed will be indicated on the trailers manufacturing plate affixed to the chassis or in your vehicles owners’ manual.

Take your time

Many South Africans will drive thousands of kilometres to their holiday destination and try to do it in one go. Fatigue has been proven to be one of the biggest contributors to driver-related accidents. The rule of thumb remains, stop every two hours, stretch your legs and have something cold to drink or a coffee. Avoid peak times The more cars on the road, the bigger the chances of being involved in an accident and the longer your journey will take. If at all possible try and avoid peak days and times. These include the 16th and 24th of December as well as the 2nd of January and the weekend before schools resume.

Ensure that your car is roadworthy

It is essential to ensure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before hitting the long road, this will ensure that you reach your destination without any hiccups and will also prevent any unroadworthy components from causing an accident. Ask your local dealership or workshop to check safety critical components like tyres, brakes, shocks, windscreens and lights and rectify any issues before you hit the road.

Reuben van Niekerk


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Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa