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HEIGHTENED PRICE SENSITIVY PREDICTED AS SA ECONOMY RESUMES

Tuesday, 06 October 2020

"Riaz Haffejee CEO of Sumitomo Dunlop says: “Annually South Africa experiences around 14 000 road traffic deaths. In January 2020, Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Transport, reported that this comes at a cost of R168 billion to the country. "

We are concerned that the increased economic pressure consumers and businesses are under, as a result of COVID-19, may result in the delay of the purchase of replacement tyres and may lead to road users considering purchasing 2nd hand tyres, believing that these are a more cost-effective alternative to buying new."

The lack of regulation enforcement in the 2nd hand tyre industry is of great concern and could lead to far greater cost, exposing consumers and road users to potential hazards.

A tyre is considered waste and must be mutilated and disposed of by the Waste Agency if it does not conform to the Road Traffic Act which states that a 2nd hand waste tyre is a tyre that is not safe-for-use (or resale) and should be mutilated by the tyre reseller, as described by Section 6 (2) of the Waste Tyre Regulations of 2017. A 2nd hand tyre is not safe to use when the tread depth across any part of the tyre is below the level of the tread wear indicators (set at 1.6mm), has no tread wear indicator as this may be due to carving the rubber on tyres to create more tread depth (regrooving, has damaged rubber that exposes fabric or cord, or cuts, lumps or bulges in the sidewall of the tyre. This is the law.

Tyre dealers are also required by law to mutilate waste tyres. This is to protect consumers to ensure that tyres cannot be re-used. Resale or use of a tyre that is considered a waste tyre is illegal. As part of Sumitomo Dunlop’s commitment to safer roads, Dunlop dealers are equipped and trained to identify a safe part-worn tyre and one that should be scrapped as waste. As such it is important that consumers be made aware of what constitutes a waste tyre vs a safe to reuse tyre.

In terms of Regulation 1 of the Waste Tyre Regulation, a “part worn tyre” means a used tyre, which can be safely returned to its original intended use. This is a tyre that has the right tread depth and no damages, cuts, bumps or no regrooving. This is a safe to re-use tyre.

We estimate that second-hand tyres account for between 1.5 million to 2 million passenger tyres in the market. Of these, according to our surveys, annually more than 1 million tyres are sold that are illegal (61% of all 2nd hand tyres for sales currently) and should not be on the roads. As an industry we have a responsibility in ensuring that the practice of selling unsafe, ill-suited, and illicit second-hand tyres to unsuspecting and uninformed customers, ends.

The basics are that dealers have a duty to scrap tyres that are considered not safe for use on the road, by mutilating them and preventing them ending up back on the road, consumers should not buy 2nd hand tyres from the side of the road and should buy from reputable tyre retail outlets that can advise appropriately. We also urge the Dept of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to enforce the regulations vigorously for the protection of consumers.

Read the full article on SA Treads here.

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