Members of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), have come out strongly in support of the drive by TEPA (Tyres, Equipment, Parts Association) and other key stakeholders to stamp out the trade in illegal automotive parts in South Africa through the establishment of a Blow-the-Whistle Compliance Forum.
Dewald Ranft, National Chairman of MIWA, says that the problem impacts virtually all sectors of the economy. “Illegal trade in automotive components has a very significant impact, firstly on road safety and then on revenue loss – both for the fiscus and for our compliant member businesses,” he says.
We are particularly concerned about the illicit trade in safety critical parts like brakes, tyres and bearings, which place all South African motorists at risk. Ranft says together with Right to Repair South Africa, a Section 21, not-for-profit company especially established to help drive compliance and protect consumer interests, the organisation is also focusing on consumer education to ensure that if OEM parts are not utilised, it is imperative to use only matching quality parts that would carry a similar warranty.
We share TEPA’s concern that as the economy tightens even further, consumers have a tendency to want to buy down, which only aggravates the problem. “One of the main advantages of the new Guidelines to Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket (“the Guidelines”) which were implemented on 1 July 2021, is that consumers now have the opportunity to shop around and buy more competitively without compromising quality.”
Ranft says it is paramount that we drive towards a more compliant trading environment and, like TEPA, take ownership and shared accountability for our sector.
“We are moving towards the holiday season, which traditionally has an unacceptably high percentage of road fatalities, so now is the time for consumers to do their safety critical checks on their vehicles and be particularly vigilant about where they are purchasing their parts and servicing. We also appeal to all consumers if you are aware of any malpractices to report these on the TEPA hotline so the matter can be investigated and the media can expose the perpetrators. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we can all play a part in making our roads safer and in helping legitimate businesses thrive and grow,” concludes Ranft.