It is common knowledge that many vehicles on South African roads do not comply with minimum safety
standards to such extend that they actually should be removed from the roads. Authorities seem to fail
dismally here. But do we take vehicles that do have a valid license disk for granted?
Have you ever seen those Facebook posts of a tanker truck of a South African petrol company
overtaking a truck on an uphill, at a place where one cannot see what is coming from ahead? One of
those places that, because of the danger it poses when one overtakes at that particular spot,
deliberately has been marked by two solid lines? It's a picture that is doing the rounds regularly and has
left management of the company involved, fuming. That's not a good thing when you are in the petrol
It is not known whether company management took action against the driver for this blatant disregard
of road safety, or not. He is the only one to be blamed certainly. But matters could be severely worse for
the company, if a recent British investigation is to be believed.
The UK Department for Transport has recently issued a directive that fuel tankers produced by a South
African company will have to be removed from British roads before the end of the year. It is believed
that 15 to 20% of all tankers in the UK are affected; some 220 vehicles. The directive was issued after a
research program tested the safety of the tankers and found that welding cracks could lead to spillage in
Poor quality welding is not new to South Africa. The Medupi power station experienced severe delays
because of the poor welding that was discovered in the boilers. Some 4000 spots were identified as
'problems' that had to be resolved before the station was integrated into the grid. The power station is
still not producing at full capacity, despite promises it would have been doing so already late last year.
The CEO of the company that produces the fuel tankers, responded to the claim by the British
Department for Transport by saying that it will be too expensive to fight the claim. They have replaced
the tankers with new ones. The old ones have been recalled to (South) Africa where they will be ?� ?�re-
The likelihood that a fuel tanker will overturn in the UK is far less than that it will do in (South) Africa.
However, as long as legislation here is more lax than that of countries like the UK, there will be little that
legally can be done to prevent such vehicle as well as any other product for such matter, to make it into
Best thing to do is have compliance of your vehicles inspected regularly. Corporate vehicles will certainly
have to comply with national legislation. However nothing should stop you from having your vehicles
complying with international standards. South Africa is still on top of the international list of deaths on
the roads. These are often caused by vehicles that are non-compliant.
MAKROSAFE consultants inspect vehicles every day. They know what to look for. Don't take changes.
Being 'liked' on facebook is nice, unless the accompanying caption tarnishes your company name or
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