Media Release

South Africa's Leading International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from the Sub-Saharan Region

6 - 9 May 2015
Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec

7th May 2015

Roger Houghton
Fax          +27 11 494 5004

RMI Vehicle Imbizo highlights role of quality parts in vehicle safety

Industry representatives and interested parties gathered at Nasrec on the opening day of Automechanika 2015 to discuss road safety and the carnage on South African roads during an Imbizo hosted by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

The main aim was to analyse the critical role played by quality spare parts, vehicle roadworthiness, defensive driving and compliance enforcement in reducing carnage on our roads. The Imbizo included expert speakers representing the tyre and brake pad industries as well as roadworthy testing stations.

"The importance of the topics discussed was recently underscored by the sheer volume of media reports that related to the increased death toll on our roads during the Easter weekend. We have to find ways to reduce the horrendous accident rate, and the RMI believes that what has materialised from the Imbizo will help to put pressure on authorities to implement immediate remedial action," said Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI. Olivier presented the findings of recent tests conducted on the RMI's behalf on friction materials used in brake pads. The aim of the tests was to determine whether a selection of 10 different brands representing the most popular brake pads on sale in South Africa – both locally manufactured and imported – complied with compulsory specifications as required by legislation. Two certified laboratories were used to independently test the products.

According to Olivier, only 20 per cent of the brake pads tested by one of the laboratories achieved full compliance, while at the second laboratory only 10 per cent were compliant. Half the products failed speed sensitivity tests. Olivier said the RMI had engaged with the National Regulator of Compulsory Standards (NRCS) – a division within the Department of Trade and Industry – to ensure that compulsory specifications were enforced in accordance with legislation. However, progress on this matter has been slow from the authorities over an extended period of time.
Ferose Oaten, Vice-President of the RMI and President of CITA for Africa – who is also managing director of AVTS Roadworthy Stations and CEO of TUV SÜD South Africa – spoke about common faults for which vehicles failed roadworthy certification. According to her, lamps and lighting, brakes and tyres were main contributing factors to accidents.
According to Oaten, studies showed that vehicle age was an influencing factor in accidents. Quoting from an Arrive Alive study, she said vehicle factors had been found to be responsible for at least 9,3 per cent of traffic accidents in South Africa as a direct factor, and up to 13 per cent as a contributory factor. "Within these vehicle factors in fatal crashes, 36 per cent were the result of a burst tyre due to damage or wear, 25 per cent were caused by faulty brakes and 24 per cent by unsafe or faulty steering," she said.
In his presentation, Niel Langner, Marketing Manager of Continental Tyre SA, said the NRCS didn't actually test tyres before endorsing them for sale in South Africa. Rather the department conducted a check of paperwork only, reviewing the certificates issued by the manufacturer.
Langner said the number of low-cost imported tyres totalled about four million units annually, representing about 40 per cent of local volume. This despite the fact that independent tests had shown that, compared with premium quality tyres, performance was compromised.
The proliferation in South Africa of the sale of second hand tyres is also extremely worrying. The number of used tyres entering the country annually ranges from 500 000 to 1,5-million units – representing 5 to 15 per cent of the market – despite the fact that surveys had shown that more than half the items were no longer fit for use. He said there was no regulation in South Africa to prevent the importation of second hand tyres.
Langner added that the problem posed by low-cost tyres was aggravated by the fact that about 40 per cent of waste casings due to be collected by REDISA
– an agency mandated by Government to accumulate and recycle waste tyres
– had gone missing since the system was implemented in November 2012. Summing up, Langner reiterated that while millions of rands were being paid to the NRCS and REDISA, the agencies were contributing zero to benefit road safety.
Olivier echoed the sentiment when he said no meaningful progress had been made by authorities with regard to road safety initiatives. However, he added that proposed measures on the part of authorities to reduce carnage focused on similar measures: increasing the number of traffic officials; cracking down on alcohol and substance abuse, reckless and negligent driving and non-roadworthy vehicles. However, much of the good that could come from the initiative would be undone if not properly implemented by the enforcement ranks.
Instead, he proposed that a public/private partnership between the RMI, the Department of Transport and the Department of Trade and Industry be given priority. "I also want brake pad testing results to be taken seriously and converted into action plans with time frames," he said. "There must be stricter control regarding the issuing of Letters of Authority (LOAs). Non-compliant brake pads should be publically destroyed. And there should be a commitment to proper, ongoing enforcement.
"The way forward incorporates compulsory vehicle testing; the eradication of fraud and corruption; educational programmes for all role-players; no lip service, and concerted commitment to road safety by government, industry and the media," Olivier concluded.

Background information on Automechanika Johannesburg

Automechanika Johannesburg is part of the global group of Automechanika automotive aftermarket business- to-business trade shows and business events with its portfolio of 15 trade fairs in 14 countries (4 continents).

Automechanika Johannesburg is licensed to SA Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd, part of the Messe Frankfurt Group. It is the largest event of its kind on the African continent and serves South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa since 2009

For more information visit

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading trade fair organisers, generating around €550* million in sales and employing more than 2200* people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt's exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.

The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 per cent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.

Further information on the company can be found at
* preliminary numbers (2014)

For more information contact:

Roger Houghton on 012 998 1771 or at

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