SAVRALA offers condolences to Mandela family

Nelson-Mandela

PRESS RELEASE:  December 06, 2013

The Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) wishes to convey our sincere and deep condolences to the Mandela family for their loss. The former President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, more affectionately known as Tata Madiba, is now finally at peace but will be forever in our hearts and minds.

His passing has left us with deep a feeling of loss, we however, also acknowledge an even deeper feeling of pride for a man from such humble rural beginnings was able to tower above so many of our current world leaders through his enormous personal challenges and sacrifices.

Whether you had the privilege to meet him or you were one of the millions around the world who were enthralled and captivated by him, he has now left a clear path of tolerance, compassion, empathy and kindness, through his wise words and actions, for all of us to follow. It is now for each of us to play our part and make a difference in our country.

We thank you Tata. Rest in Peace.

Editorial contacts:
Marc Corcoran, President, SAVRALA

SAVRALA General Manager unable to renew contract

PRESS RELEASE: February 01, 2013

SAVRALA General Manager unable to renew contract

Regrettably the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) wishes to announce that its current General Manager, Mr Wayne Duvenage, having agreed to join the body on a six month contract last year, has advised that he is unable to offer his valuable services to the car rental industry after his contract expires at the end of February 2013.

Wayne has had a distinguished career in the car rental industry that spans almost 20 years. SAVRALA wishes him well in his future endeavours.

Editorial contacts: ADZOO – Manfred Noriskin-Ender 0829010342

Additional Support for the Rangers

Press release issued 06-12-2012

SAVRALA as an organisation has always been very conscious of its social responsibility and has for years encouraged members to open their hearts and their wallets.

This year SAVRALA’s charity of choice was the SANParks Honorary Rangers, as well as the award-winning Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation. Both the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo are volunteer charity organisations that are heavily involved in preventing rhino poaching as well as all other areas of conservation.

Having already raised an impressive R100 000 at SAVRALA’s Golf Day on 22 February 2012 at the beautiful Blue Valley Golf Course in Midrand, SAVRALA managed to raise an additional R7 100 on the eve of their annual Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) Awards held on Friday, 26 October 2012.

The cheque for the second contribution was handed to David Webster, chairperson of the Johannesburg region of the Rangers, at the last SAVRALA NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting by the new incoming President, Marc Corcoran. SAVRALA were in turn presented with a certificate by the Honorary Rangers for their involvement in the worthy cause of saving the rhino and in recognition of their generous contribution.

Volkswagen Dominate MOTY 2012 Awards

Members of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) gathered at a gala banquet in Sandton on the evening of Friday, 26th of October 2012, to honour and celebrate the crowning of the 2012 SAVRALA Motor Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY), a milestone event that began some 18 years ago in 1995. MOTY has become the benchmark for vehicle manufacturers and importers who supply vehicles to both the car rental and car leasing sectors, where they are rated and judged by the industry on a range of criteria, from build quality, parts and service supply, communication and value, in order to win the coveted SAVRALA MOTY award.

Outgoing President Keri Kirsten, reminded guests of some of the highlights and challenges of the motoring industry in the past year and the challenges that both the industry and the motorist had to face in our country, including the e-Toll saga and the ongoing fuel price increases.

Keri Kirsten also used the opportunity to introduce the new incoming NEC (National Executive Committee) of SAVRALA under the leadership of Marc Corcoran, who had been elected earlier that day at the AGM (Annual General Meeting) held at the Johannesburg Country Club.

SAVRALA’s new NEC for 2012/2013 voted in at the AGM are:
President – Marc Corcoran (Avis)
Vice President – Dawn Nathan-ones (Europcar)
Chairman – Rental – Georg Corbett (Europcar)
Vice Chairman – Rental – Grenville Salmon (Pace)
Chairman – Leasing – Vernen Pillay (Absa)
Vice Chairman – Leasing – Warren Peters (Wesbank)

As a responsible association, the evenings guests were reminded of the successes of their community investment initiative held earlier this year at the Blue Valley Golf course, which raised an impressive R100 000 towards wildlife conservation, supporting the heroic efforts of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, as well as the award-winning Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation. Both the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo are volunteer charity organisations that are heavily involved in preventing rhino poaching as well as all other areas of conservation.

As the award presentation grew closer, excitement ran high amongst manufacturer’s tables with them eagerly awaiting the announcements of the evening’s winners, a trophy much prized by the industry.This year was no exception to this phenomenon and there were once again surprising shifts amongst the brands that ultimately walked away with the silverware.A new award was also added this year, namely ‘Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative’ which is an indication of what has

become important to both the rental and leasing industries when it comes to gaining a competitive edge over their competition. One thing for certain was that service delivery and unwavering support to their clients ranked amongst the top criteria of the winners.

SAVRALA extends their congratulations to all 2012 MOTY winners:

Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Silver: Hyundai Automotive South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Bonze: Nissan South Africa

Manufacturer of the Year Rental Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Rental Silver: General Motors South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Rental Bonze: Hyundai Automotive South Africa

Most Improved Leasing: Audi South Africa
Most Improved Rental: General Motors South Africa
Overall Most Improved: Audi South Africa

Overall Manufacturer of the Year Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Overall Manufacturer of the Year Silver: Hyundai Automotive Motors South Africa
Overall Manufacturer of the Year Bonze: General Motors South Africa

Best Account Executive Leasing: Faan Fourie from Toyota SA Motors (Pty) Ltd
Best Account Executive Rental: Carin Delport from Toyota SA Motors (Pty) Ltd

Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative Leasing: Lutendo Mudau – Volkswagen South Africa
Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative Rental: Gareth Tiffin – General Motors South Africa

NOW FOR ANOTHER TAX ON MOTORISTS & FLEETS – TYRES

It goes without saying that the REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA) levy on tyres, indicated at R2.30 for every kilogram of tyre purchased, is another tax on the motorist and transport industry in SA. The reason, we are told, is to introduce a tyre recycling initiative which will (a) create jobs and (b) reduce waste tyres piling up in the environment, both of which are great reasons on the face of it, but what lies behind the plan?

First of all, there is a cost to the road user. Secondly, the Retail Motor Industry body (RMI) have lodged a legal challenge to the plan saying this was initially devised by the industry by their Tyre Dealers association and was then ‘hijacked’ by a previous industry employee to manage the process through a new organisation. More worrying is the fact that this is a regulated (government backed) levy, being passed on to a private organisation, to manage a process which does not have the support of the tyre industry association.

There is a view that recycling initiatives of this nature should be self-funding i.e. no add-on cost to the consumer. That the recycling of tyre should be a free standing business venture and that market forces should be allowed to play out. So why has this not been the case to date? Surely there is a business case and need for content (in whichever shape or form) of used tyre product? And if so, what will happen when a new tyre recycling organisation approaches the tyre dealers to ‘take their used tyres for recycling at zero cost (i.e. no levy)’? Will this compel the tyre dealer to save costs for the consumer and break the law by refusing to participate in the government regulated plan?

SAVRALA raises its concern when regulations do not have the backing of industry and urges alternate / more appropriate mechanisms be sought through deeper engagement by all involved. Top of mind should always be the consumer and the solutions sought, should ultimately not cost the overstretched tax payer one Rand more, lest this be seen as another tax (al-la-plastic bags) that will probably defeat the purpose for which it is intended, with a handful of participants getting rich at the expense of the road user.

Keri Kirsten
SAVRALA President

South African consumers set up to take a battering / A call to action

SA NATIONAL CONSUMERS UNION

Press Release

The South African National Consumer Union reports that the current pressures on motorists, and road users is becoming intolerable.

  • Firstly the Fuel Price is unabated in its upward momentum over R10 per litre for Unleaded Fuel (93 and 95), and yet the relevant Ministries are reluctant to pass on the benefits of the 2007 Windfall Tax to consumers – capital plus up to R1,50 discount per litre eligible for Gauteng and Mpumalanga consumers.
  • The second threat is the introduction of outrageous Recycling Levies on Tyres (new, used, reconditioned, imported or local) – hardly any attention has been paid to the real cost of delivery of this new ‘service’ – up to R150 per set of 4 tyres from Friday
  • Finally the etolling saga has not passed away – whilst SANCU petitioned directly and indirectly about the terms and conditions and administrative costs surrounding the SANRAL contracts, Gauteng consumers in particular remain super critical about this new taxation on a road system that should be covered in the first instance by the fuel levy, but could be easily covered in any case by the differential between South Africa producer price of liquid fuels, as opposed to imported fuels – The current SANRAL/TREASURY proposal can cost up to R550 per month for some consumers

In fact as the Mossgas project rolls out South Africa’s reliance on imported ‘barrels of oil’ should lessen and the price for coastal consumers can be reviewed

Gauteng and Mpumalanga consumers in particular are advised to continue supporting the efforts of OUTA – Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (see www.outa.co.za), and notify their Parliamentary representatives of their difficulties to keep funding more and more extraneous ‘road user’ costs that have no substance to reality.

Ends…………

Issued by

Tutti Rudman
Chairman,  SA National Consumers Union

Contact person
Nick Tselentis : 083 325 9704

A message from the president

SUBJECT: RE: E-TOLLING INTERDICT

Good day SAVRALA Members, OUTA Team and Others

At the outset, I would like to thank the SAVRALA members who agreed to stand up, support and fund this legal challenge to effectively take SANRAL (and the government) to task on their decision to implement e-Tolling as a method of funding the GFIP. Simply put, e-Tolling is impractical and expensive and will be a waste of tax payer’s money if it is ever allowed to be introduced. We also realise that there were revenue opportunities for many within our industries on the back of e-tolling, but this would simply have been wrong, which makes SAVRALA’s stand an even more rewarding one.

I need to mention here that people like Marc Corcoran and Paul Pauwen were the real champions behind this case. They toiled long into the early hours of the mornings and over weekends to provide the legal team with much of the information and evidence required, which ultimately made our case as strong as it was. Then there was the legal team itself, of around 9 people in total, including two amazing senior councillors (Alfred Cockrel and Alistair Franklin) and a “mid” councillor Adrian d’Oliveira who was the “machine” and collated the information and guided the strategy, plus Pieter Conradie and his team from CDH. These are the people we all need to thank for their tireless effort and wisdom that ultimately made it happen.

Where to from here, depends on the action government want to take. If they want to take this to round two, we will have to go to court, not least of all because our grounds are now stronger than ever before, but because this has become a matter of such importance for the public and our democracy at large. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelmed this team has been by the public and international interest in this case. Essentially it is one which sends a message of how societies can stop wrongful government policy, without having to take to the streets, but to do so, it relies on a sound judiciary that is able to stand up against political pressure and rule in favour of the citizens, when it needs to do so. We will however turn to the public and other businesses and associations to foot the rest of the bill going forward. We are however optimistic that the authorities may just use this opportunity to call it quits for e-tolling, and to seek the best solution for its citizens going forward.

In closing, thank you once again. You can be proud of the stance that your association took in this matter, a stance which I believe all business associations should be taking when government or business policy is out of line with the intended aims. Carbon taxation will be the next issue to challenge, along with AARTO and others, not because we don’t want these in place, but because we want them to be effective and meaningful toward the outcomes they seek.

Kind regards

Wayne Duvenage
President

SAVRALA CONTESTS CLAIMED TOLL BENEFITS AND CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT ECONOMIC STUDY

Press release TWO –  issued 14-03-2012

SAVRALA CONTESTS CLAIMED TOLL BENEFITS AND CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT ECONOMIC STUDY

SAVRALA (Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) representing approximately 450,000 vehicles continues to be very surprised by the ongoing e-Toll benefit motivations presented by SANRAL, its principal, the Department of Transport and more recently Transport Economist Dr Roelof Botha.

These parties often refer to a Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) 8.4 benefit cost ratio. Simply put, this hypothesis claims that for every R1 spent on the tolls, motorist will receive  a benefit of R8.40. This claimed benefit is sourced from the Economic Analysis of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme prepared in August 2010 by the Graduate School of Business (University of Cape Town) for both the South African National Roads Agency (Pty) Ltd and the Provincial Government of Gauteng. This claimed benefit cost ratio was also presented in last year’s GFIP Steering Committee Report.

As this claimed benefit is one of the key motivations for the e-Tolling project, SAVRALA would encourage these parties to take note of the Minister of Transport’s reply, tabled on 31 October 2011, to a Democratic Alliance question on the claimed GFIP benefits raised at the National Assembly (Question no 2598);

“As can be seen, the key assumption of the 2007 feasibility study was that the GFIP Project would reduce congestion. In my considered view, and in retrospect, the original feasibility study did not sufficiently weigh up international evidence suggesting that freeway expansion often does not in the medium term resolve congestion challenges, and often induces greater demand.

It also failed to consider alternative solutions to congestion – improved public transport provision, moving more freight onto rail and a curb on urban sprawl. The project benefits to road users may, therefore, unfortunately not be forthcoming. This is the subject of further assessments and consultations by the Department of Transport and a Cabinet Task Team”.

The claimed GFIP benefits of time savings, reduced vehicle expenses and lower accidents are again based on questionable assumptions derived in many instances from information unchallenged by SANRAL itself. It is also important to note that the Economic Analysis of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme did not request any input from any of the affected stakeholders like SAVRALA.

 

Surely it is time for a proper public and independent economic analysis to be conducted?

It is also essential to separate the actual construction of the roads from their funding model.  SAVRALA agrees with SANRAL on the need for the GFIP and that it will provide some benefit, but how much and at what cost is now a moving target. In reality, the viability and efficiency of the proposed e-Tolling model is now well beyond any economic argument.

After the Minister of Finance last month contributed almost R6billion from Treasury to fund SANRAL’s outstanding GFIP debt, the balance now due is approximately R14bn (excluding interest payments). Unfortunately, SANRAL have not made the actual impact of the contribution from the Minister of Finance to the total GFIP debt public. This means one has to determine the relative economic efficiencies of the e-Toll model at a rather crude level – however, the message is clear. Economically, it is irrational to continue with a revenue collection scheme that will very conservatively cost the GFIP users just over R6billion (although it has been estimate to be as much as R11billion), to collect the outstanding R14billion, resulting in an e-Toll administration cost to revenue ratio of 43%!

This is an unacceptable percentage for administration costs and contradicts the Minister of Finance’s earlier call this year for all parties to be wise with scarce resources.

SAVRALA, and many other business and civil associations, have never disputed the need to pay for the costs of GFIP, however, jointly they continue to oppose the unacceptable levels of cost for a wieldy administration imposed by the e-Tolling funding mechanism. SAVRALA therefore calls on the Government to seriously consider other less costly funding models like, the revenue raised from the Fuel Levy, as one of several other funding mechanisms.

Further, SAVRALA remains perplexed as to why the Government remains obstinate in the extreme about the drive to implement such an inefficient and costly system, given the extensive and growing resistance to e-Tolling across South African society, including some elements of Government itself.

It is also of great concern that our Government agencies and their various spokespersons are reverting to verbal bullying and threats against its citizens should they wish to exercise their rights and not register for an e-Tag but rather pay the non-discounted rate given the concerns about individual/account information protection etc.

What is needed, is greater transparency regarding the terms and conditions of the ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) tender document and the extent of the potential financial penalties, should the e-Toll project not proceed.

 

 

The current stance only corroborates Government’s stubbornness to proceed despite all logical and economic reasons to rethink the project.

It has however become painfully obvious, that this is the biggest public uprising against a decision taken by government since the birth of our new democracy 18 years ago.

Editorial contact: Paul Pauwen 083 250 0333 (www.savrala.co.za)

Notes to editor:

1)      DA Question 2598, reply by Minister of Transport can be found at   http://www.pmg.org.za/node/29123

2)      GFIP Economic Analysis available at http://www.nra.co.za/live/index.php

ALLIANCE FORMED IN OPPOSITION TO URBAN TOLLING

Press release issued 14-03-2012

ALLIANCE FORMED IN OPPOSITION TO URBAN TOLLING

Following anger and outrage against the e-Tolling of Gauteng’s freeways, an alliance has been formed to coordinate the strategies of a number of organisations and associations who share a common view about this unjust action.

Numerous organisations have been strongly opposing the e-toll program from various channels, yet a unified platform has been lacking to share and combine the efforts of business. The launch of OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance) will be this platform and will provide a united front which will lend significant support to the cause.

The web site URL for the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) is www.outa.co.za.  It is a concise informative portal and one that also allows organisations to sign up and display their support accordingly.  It will be dynamic and updated regularly.  In addition, individuals can also lend their support on the “support us” page as well as link through to the OUTA Facebook page to express their concerns, comments and views.

While there are a number of electronic petitions and web sites denouncing e-tolling in Gauteng (and these are all very necessary in their respective efforts), the OUTA platform is one that will provide clarity around the misleading and ambiguous statements and questions about e-tolling. The public and organisations have a desire and a right to know much more than that which has been ‘fed’ to them by the authorities.  The OUTA.co.za web site will also be the platform that provides updates of the legal challenge when this is lodged.

OUTA encourages organizations and the public view the site and sign up.
SUBMITTED BY SAVRALA

SAVRALA WELCOMES ANOTHER AARTO DELAY

Press release issued 08-03-2012

SAVRALA WELCOMES ANOTHER AARTO DELAY

SAVRALA, The Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, representing approximately 450,000 vehicles nationally, welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Logan Maistry (spokesperson for the Department of Transport) about a delay of the planned roll-out of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) on April 01.

SAVRALA hopes that the Department of Transport will now return to a process of constructive and participative engagement at the Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), to discuss many of the key concerns around AARTO which were left unanswered during the meetings last year.

Amongst the many issues raised, was the need for government to make public the results of the AARTO pilot study so that all stakeholders can become aware of the lessons learnt and will be able to contribute to any proposed regulation changes in the future. Some of the key lessons learnt from the e-Tolling process to date are that it is difficult for stakeholders to give productive input into a process when information is withheld by the Department of Transport.

As the central focus of AARTO is to change driver behavior, SAVRALA would like to see the current schedule of offences (over three thousand) get reduced to focus on the critical infringements that contribute to the current unacceptable level of death on our roads. SAVRALA believes a simplified schedule of key offences would assist both consistent enforcement by the authorities and provide better understanding to the public road user.

In addition, several of the key AARTO administrative processes could also be simplified to make the system more reliable, efficient and less expensive to implement, this however will require an open mind from the authorities when AARTO discussions once again commence with stakeholders.

SAVRALA is in the process of setting up workshops with all relevant stakeholders to identify ways of achieving safer roads and looks forward to the Department of Transport’s participation in this regard.

End

Editorial contact: Paul Pauwen 083 250 0333 (www.savrala.co.za)