A new truckers association called The Emerging Truckers Association of South Africa (TASA) has been formed – mainly by women who are active role players in the transport and logistics business sector. The aim of the association is to facilitate transformation and make it possible for emerging role-players to thrive in an industry that it says generates R12-billion per annum.
Speaking at the official launch of TASA in Sandton last Friday, Deputy Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikung said there was a need to facilitate the entry of more black businesses in the industry.
According to Chikunga, the department is looking at the holistic value chain to transform the transportation industry so that all industry players may have a share of the market. Moreover, she said her department supports the launch of TASA and encourages the birth of many more such organisations.
TASA aims to focus on the plight and what it terms the “exploitation of emerging cargo carriers by big companies” and to be the voice of emerging truck operators in the country across all sectors. The association also plans to empower young people to take part in key businesses within the transport sector and commits to grooming and mentoring those who are statutory certified.
According to Mary Phadi, convener of TASA, South African coal transporters generate about R1,1-billion and transporters of goods such as petroleum, manganese, chrome, iron-ore, food and beverages as well as general cargo, generate approximately R10.9-billion.
While unpacking TASA’s objectives, Phadi said: “At TASA, we mainly want to represent truckers from a previously disadvantaged background with limited resources as well as in supporting industries – including women who are in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) space – to be a part of the network.
“TASA intends to play a role of influence within the supply chain by changing the current status quo within the truck towing services, maintenance, sales and distribution, logistics, fuel supply, tyres supply and fitment, truck parts and spares, financing of trucks, stock exchange, bargaining council, fleet management systems, tracking services, panel beating, etc. It will entrust members to provide these services including: tax filing, accounting and bookkeeping, as well as address truck safety issues.”
She added that in South Africa, transportation and logistics is a lucrative industry but is very capital-intensive and many of those who want to enter into this industry struggle with access to capital, attaining contracts and access to industry information – “which, for many can lead to exclusion”.
“TASA will embody transformation and see it through by collaborating with VBS Bank from a financial view point so that its members can have access to financial support for their businesses,” said Phadi.
“The association expects world-class quality services from its members that will be appointed as service providers within its network hence it will have a monitoring committee. Moreover, it supports members no matter their challenges and is dedicated to making sure that there is visible progress in the next year.”
She further unveiled what will happen after the launch concerning the association’s website, policy meeting, nomination of representatives and office bearers, as well as membership costs.
It was also stated that the association does not support RTMS accreditation conditions “as it presents bottlenecks and businesses end up missing out on opportunities. Thus TASA intends to change existing rules to really be representative of truckers’ needs.”
It also highlighted its concerns about existing truckers associations not being supportive enough to its members.
“TASA will represent owner drivers, small transport providers as well as emerging cargo carriers for fuel, steel, gas, powder, sugar and chemicals. Furthermore, the association will host a road show to engage industry players in all provinces and is ready to implement radical transformation to all sectors that are linked to transportation,” concluded Queen Zwane, Task Organiser at TASA.