Apr 072018

Dear IFRTT subscriber

Burning vehicles in highway protest on the N3 highway between Durban and Johannesburg, 2 April 2018

I’m a little under the whip from the IFRTT President as this newsletter should have been sent out by end-March.  My apologies Mr President J

South Africa has certainly been through some interesting times during the past few months: a new President, high profile court cases, ongoing critical droughts in some parts of the country, severe water shortages in Cape Town, cricket sagas and, most recently, the passing of Winnie Mandela, an ANC stalwart over many decades and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela.

On the heavy vehicle front, fairly serious protests were experienced for most of Monday morning, 2 April, on the N3 highway at the Mooi River Toll Plaza between Durban and Johannesburg. This is the busiest rural highway in the country (over 10 000 heavy vehicles per day on some sections) and the protest action was conveniently timed to coincide with the end of the Easter long weekend when thousands of holidaymakers were making their way back from the coast to the hinterland. At least 3 trucks were torched during the protests and the contents thereof looted. The apparent cause of the protest action was a grievance by an as-yet unidentified group against employment by South African companies of foreign national truck drivers. Typical delays experienced by motorists were 6 hours, which is longer that the normal journey from Durban to Johannesburg.

Burnt-out vehicle on the N3 highway between Durban and Johannesburg, 2 April 2018

On the subject of road safety, many of you will be aware of the relatively new ISO standard, ISO 39001: Road Traffic Safety Management Systems, published in 2012. The ISO TC241 Working Group 5 met from 26 to 28 February in Stellenbosch near Cape Town to work on the second draft of a new ISO document, ISO 39002: Road traffic safety — Good practices for implementing commuting safety management. Whereas ISO 39001 is intended for any organisation that wants to develop and implement policies and procedures with the intention of reducing fatalities and serious injuries associated with their business operations, ISO 39002 will be a guidance document for organisations to promote good road safety practices to their employees whilst commuting, whatever their mode of transport (by road). It is expected that this document will be published some time during 2019.

The weather in South Africa is starting to turn towards autumn, with cooler days in most parts of the country. Generally there have been good rains during the past summer and the hope is that the winter rainfall in the Western Cape

Traffic queue on the N3 highway between Durban and Johannesburg, 2 April 2018

during the coming months will help to break the drought there.

Drive safely

Paul Nordengen

IFRTT Vice-President: Africa

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