The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) has spoken out strongly against the Department of Transport’s proposal to ban trucks from public roads during peak hours.
“It is clear that at the time of the announcement, no meaningful – if any – consultation had taken place with either the private sector or other affected government departments. As is so often the case, the far-ranging consequences, including the cost implications of this proposed policy implementation, have not been considered,” says Joan Warburton-McBride, CEO of the JCCI.
The new regulations state that goods vehicles exceeding 9 000kg cannot use public roads from between 06h00 to 09h00 and 17h00 to 20h00 Mondays to Fridays. The Transport Department cited road safety as a concern and in an attempt to curb road death tolls, this is one of their reasons for wanting to restrict goods vehicles on public roads during peak hours.
“However, this ban would most likely result in more trucks being on the road at night which will have further implications for road safety as most accidents occur between 22h00 and 06h00,” says Warburton-McBride. “To ensure drivers and trucks are off the roads, investment will need to be made in additional off road holding facilities impacting on security of drivers, vehicles and goods.”
The economic losses would be substantial. In addition to the level of productivity per truck being severely affected, the timely delivery of raw materials and consumer goods would be affected.
“Freight carriers will need to resort to buying additional smaller trucks thus increasing the number of trucks on the road. These additional costs will more than likely be handed over to consumers who are already under immense financial pressures given current economic strains,” adds Warburton-McBride.
The different elements of the transport system are interconnected and interdependent so measures that affect the efficiency of one mode will affect the whole system.
“The South African ports, which are already congested, would become gridlocked at a considerable cost to the national economy. In addition, this will further reduce South Africa’s status as the preferred logistical gateway to the SADC region,” adds Warburton-McBride.
At a meeting of concerned parties and the Department of Transport held at the Chamber, the view was expressed that the issue that needs to be tackled stems from a lack of law enforcement.
“The Chamber has also raised its concerns with the City Council and the Province and will continue to vigorously oppose any regulations that further hamper business operations,” says Warburton-McBride.
FleetWatch has previously voiced its total disagreement with this proposal. It is a knee-jerk proposal which has no foundation of factual data to back it and has no chance of achieving the Minister’s desired objective – which is to reduce the carnage on our roads. You can read previously articles carried by FleetWatch by clicking here and here.
The Road Freight Association also lodged a comprehensive comment to the DoT not only on the proposed truck restrictions but also on other proposed legislation changes. FleetWatch published the RFA’s submission in its entirety in our last eMag edition. Click here to get to that article
Max Braun, FleetWatch correspondent and a man with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the trucking industry, also wrote an article voicing his opinion. This can be accessed by clicking here.