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ROAD FREIGHT INDUSTRY UPDATE WEBINAR

WITH MIKE SCHÜSSLER, PENWELL LUNGA, GAVIN KELLY & KEVIN VD MERWE

Your Presenters & Presentations

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Lazarus Bereda
Sugar Logistics Executive: RCL FOODS

Lazarus Bereda has been working for almost 30 years mainly in the Supply Chain space. He has worked for a number of companies, including Coca Cola, Cadbury, Kelloggs and now RCL FOODs – Sugar. Lazarus will be our host for this webinar.
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MIKE SCHÜSSLER
Economist & Owner of Economists.co.za

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Mike’s innovative research on employment and household issues has earned him much praise. He is the most quoted and endorsed economist in South Africa for his insights – ranging  from Academia to Analysts the world over.

 

Mike will share some valuable insights on the economy and the impact of COVID-19 in South Africa.

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GAVIN KELLY
Chief Executive: The Road Freight Association

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Gavin has been involved in the resource, strategy and operations field for 32 years – from operations leadership, coordination and training, to leadership development, lateral management, operations and business survival training.

Over the years he has been involved in the development of standards and procedures for driver’s licence training, as well as licence testing and issuing; the development of standards and procedures and much more.

 

Gavin will present on the importance of legislation and compliance in the transport sector.
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PENWELL LUNGA
RFA Vice Chairperson

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Penwell Lunga is the current vice chairperson of the RFA board and has served as a Director for 8 years. He is also the chairperson of the RFA Labour Relations Committee (LRC) and has served in both the LRC and NBCRFLI since 2008.  He has participated in approximately six (6) several industry wage negotiations over that period.

 

Penwell will be presenting on Labour matters.

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KEVIN VAN DER MERWE
Executive Manager: Certification & Operations: The Road Freight Association

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After leaving the traffic profession in 2007, Kevin was instrumental in establishing four transport consulting businesses, and serves on the boards of three of these companies in a non-executive capacity. Since 2012 the Road Freight Association has made use of Kevin’s services in the field of abnormal loads and traffic legislation. In February 2020 he was appointed in the portfolio responsible for certification and operations at the RFA.

 

Kevin will be presenting on Certification and Operations.

Questions & Answers

Below is a list of all the Questions asked during our webinar.

Q: Patrick O'Leary
There is a disconnect between Government and reality on the road. How do you negotiate when the knowledge bank is pretty bare?
A:
Hi Patrick - the disconnect between authorities and the the realities on the road: one of the biggest challenges is that there are three levels of government involved in road traffic management. It is addressing the challenges at the respective level that has borne fruit in the last few months. The challenge of government not understanding either critical concepts (of reality) or their proper role remains a constant interaction between business and government. This is very frustrating - but we battle on.

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Q: Patrick O'Leary
The RFA wasn't fully supportive of the RTMS system for quite a while. What changed your view on this?
A:
We have always supported the concept - but have been vocal about there being limited capacity for operators to become SANS1395 certified. We have - to address this - funded the training of 10 auditors to ensure that there are more options for certification and wider pool of certification options for operators.

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
RTMS System wants operators to discipline and fire drivers that drive above 80 km/hour - even though the law allows a 10% tolerance, and the company has an acceptable tolerance of 85 km/hour
A:
SANS1395 has as its objective the conformance / compliance with the National Road Traffic Act and other legislative requirements. Where an employee is not conforming by exceeding the speed limit the RTMS accredited operator must address such by training / discipline, however at no place in the SANS1395 standard does it recommend dismissal in instances where a driver has exceeded the speed limit. The requirement of an offence is that it must be an act or omission punishable by law - There is currently no prescribed fine for the so-called first 10km "grace" - as such the offence is only prosecuted from 91 km/h where a limit of 80km/h is applicable. RTMS operators must identify problem areas and take steps to mitigate the risk of non-conformance..

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Q: Patrick O'Leary
Why has the RFA not fought harder against the carbon tax since there is no Govt policy on clean fuel so therefore no alternative for operators. Carbon tax should be an incentive to change to cleaner sources in the interest of climate change but clean diesel is not widely available thus making carbon tax a money making racket

A:
We have interacted with treasury, DTi, DEA, DoT and DME regarding the whole spectrum of carbon emissions, tax and the implications on the freight industry. The first result was that the original timetable to implement this was pushed back by 4 years. The second has been that the original taxation rates / levies were reduced. Thirdly, the matter relating to cleaner fuel was raised (which was linked with biofuels). Fourthly we lobbied that due to the research and levels of Carbon emission engines and development - the input (initial) carbon tax rate envisaged by government on purchase of a commercial vehicle was dropped.

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
The Taxi Industry has received funding for COVID and government is supporting their increases. Why is there no FUNDING for the transport Sector?
A:
Funding for the transport sector - in terms of ensuring sustainability of operations by arranging provisions for employees was made possible by the RFA through Council funding.

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Q: Liesl Venter
Is there any indication when AARTO will be implemented and how ready is industry for the legislation change. Also, have all the issues with AARTO been ironed out?
A:
There is no indication of when AARTO will be implemented. Government has not responded to the comments made through the public comment process - whether comments received will be accepted / rejected, what changes (if any) will be made to the proposed 2019 regulations. In short - none of the issues identified by the RFA in November 2019 have been resolved. The process is still underway
The responsibility for producing (and paying for the upgrades to produce this) were highlighted and the RFA opposed the contention that the industry (user) need to pay (up front or primarily) for the upgrades. This has thus been held back whilst the discussion regarding clean fuels and implementation thereof are discussed with the oil majors. We discuss the technology that is envisaged by the OEMs - what plans they have and how that would affect an operator - financially and operationally. We continually interact with the relevant parties involved in the carbon tax / cleaner fuel / reduced emissions debate.

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
NBCRFLI - DOES NOT apply to companies that transport their own goods
A:

Indeed NBCRFLI just have jurisdiction on companies transporting goods for gain. This has been raised at various levels and even by the Minister of Transport recently. It is on the NBCRFLI agenda for consideration.

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
NBCRFLI - DOES NOT apply to companies that transport their own goods This is a loophole where most of these companies are also involved in transporting goods for gain but get away from NBCRFLI , this is a major issue in the industry and all trasnport vehicles should be part of the agreement
A:
We are able to request the NBCRFLI agents to undertake an investigation into whether or not an operator is transporting own goods or goods belonging to third parties. Once it is determined that the goods belong to a third party, this would require compliance with the NBCRFLI rules.

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Q: Patrick O'Leary
I have never seen any action or input - or maybe I have missed it - from unions on the truck attacks and trucks affected during service delivery protests. Is it within your mandate or do you have the influence to urge them to do so.
A:
There is no indication of when AARTO will be implemented. Government has not responded to the comments made through the public comment process - whether comments received will be accepted / rejected, what changes (if any) will be made to the proposed 2019 regulations. In short - none of the issues identified by the RFA in November 2019 have been resolved. The process is still underway

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Q: Clancinah Baloyi
What role is RFA playing in promoting gender equality and involvement of more female players in the sector
A: 
The RFA promotes equality of all players in the sector. The industry is NOT a closed sector. All new entrants (irrespective of gender) face the same challenges - financing or availability work or sustainable income to support a business. What is it you are looking for - some advantage? The BBBEE codes provide the competitive advantage where necessary. We were and still are involved in developing the framework (including the Preferential Procurement requirements). Perhaps I misunderstand exactly what you are asking / looking for?

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
NBCRFLI Exemptions - COVID has had a major impact on our industry and we have seen big icons in the industry fold, and retrench etc . Now with this in mind, Are you guys going to look at renegotiation in wages based on the decline in the economy ? Everyone needs to understand that currently all business are struggling to make ends meet and this will mean more unemployment , something our country cannot afford. We definitely need to relook at ways and means to reduce our costs by means of wage reductions ,toll concessions,fuel concessions etc . Will RFA assist the industry by lobbying for this?
A:
The exemption process is there for companies who cannot meet min requirements to approach the NBCRFLI to be exempted from such. At this stage we're navigating through COVID best we can and hence our intervention regarding the exemption process to make it slightly less onerous. Renegotiation not yet on the table, but overall response and relief is the focus right now.

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Q: Ebrahim Joosab
Penwell and Charlene - this is indeed a grey area and most of these companies are doing it as they bringing their trucks back with return loads. RFA should lobby all trucks to be part for the agreement , so it levels the playing fields.
A: we are in the process of establishing the full impact of the lock down on the industry. We would still encourage members to use the expedited exemption process to be exempted from increases as well. Revenue loss, for example, as opposed to negative profit, is one of the key factors that the exemption committee takes into account in granting the exemption.

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Q: Hugo Möller_1
Mike, any idea when we can expect the diesel supply issue to be resolved?
A: Awaiting answer

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Q: Patrick O'Leary
what in your opinion, was the cause of the current diesel shortage in SA given than you state there is more than enough oil storage globally. Doubt it was just the damage to the pipeline as has been stated
A: Awaiting answer

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Q: Patrick O'Leary
Is there any way you can track retrenchments around the world
A: Awaiting answer

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Q: Phaldie Salie Salie
Do you think current labour agreement will stay in place? increases of 7.50% next year may put some transporters out of business

A: The exemption process should be followed in this regard. There is no agreement at this stage that the 7.5% will not apply. For that to happen we will have to re-open negotiations and we would probably not be able to limit it to wages only, so there is a risk to that approach.

Webinar Recording.

Missed the webinar? View it below or on Youtube