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The government proposal to ban trucks from public roads during peak time is nothing more than a diversion of attention from the real problem which is a lack of enforcement coupled with corrupt officials. That’s the view of Road Freight Association (RFA) spokesman Gavin Kelly who says we already have more than enough legislation governing the industry.  RFA CEO Sharmini Naidoo says the organisation has taken up the issue with the Department of Transport and the minister. “It is a very serious matter with some severe consequences for our industry,” Naidoo told FTW. “We have indicated our concerns to the minister and we will be participating in the public commentary process.”

 

Naidoo said the organisation was also taking legal advice on the matter. The proposal, which will see trucks banned from public roads between 06:00 and 09:00 and 17:00 and 20:00 in an effort to address road carnage,  has been described by DoT spokesman Tiyani Rikotso as the department’s way of dealing with “an extraordinary situation”. It calls, he said, for “extraordinary measures”. Kelly said the RFA was not only concerned with the banning of trucks but also other aspects of the proposal – including the renewal of licences and retesting of drivers.  Both Kelly and Naidoo were adamant that the RFA would lobby actively against the

Legislation which they said clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding of the logistics sphere by government officials. The stance has not been seen in a positive light by the DoT which is preparing for yet another fight with the RFA. The DoT has accused the RFA of doing nothing more than protecting the bottom line of operators – a claim the organisation has vehemently denied. Naidoo said they were continuing to engage with the DoT in an attempt to find solutions to disagreements in an amicable manner but it was becoming an increasingly difficult task. Deputy Minister Sindiswe Chikunga was set to deliver the keynote address at the RFA conference but cancelled her appearance at the last minute citing an international trip as  the reason, but several operators questioned this excuse.