FESARTA on trucking
Barney Curtis of the Federation of the East and Southern African Road Transport Association (FESARTA) talks about the intervention to improve cross-border road transportation in the region.
One Stop Border Posts
Concerning border posts government authorities operate from premises in one country Two border posts are still permissible using the one for traffic flowing in one direction and the other for the traffic flowing in the opposite direction FESARTA expects to be involved in the pilot project of a one stop border post at Chirundu between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Weighbridges in countries other than South Africa are still a cause for concern for many different reasons; many countries still make use of single axle weighers, which are notoriously inaccurate for weighing tandem and tridem axle units. Apart from international research, a survey of 57 South African weighbridges conducted by the Road Freight Association CSIR Department of Transport survey two years ago confirmed this fact and some countries have as yet still not replaced these single axle weighers. Pressure from transporters and the SADC is forcing these countries to change and there is a United Nations project to produce overloading control guidelines for the region. It was expected to be completed last year but the deadline has since been extended As a result some single axle weighers have already been changed to axle unit weighers.
Road legislation applicable to foreign trucks
All South African legislation applies to foreign trucks, other than the need for foreign drivers to carry a professional driving permit PrDP. Dimensions, loads, brakes lights, general roadworthiness and contour marking, all fall under the road legislation to be regulated. There have been recorded cases where the authorities do not apply to the letter, but effective lobbying should help change that. A driver holding a driver s licence allowing him to drive a particular class of vehicle in his own country permits him to drive that class of vehicle in South Africa without applying for a PrDP. The Single Administrative Document SAD replaces all other customs document for the movement of goods between South Africa Botswana and Namibia.
The SAD is a complex document and is best completed electronically, by the end of this year all South African borders are expected to only accept the SAD. The aim of FESARTA with the SAD is to see transporters licensed with their country’s customs, which should then be acceptable licensing for all other countries costs. The issue that often angers South African transporters is the costs other than normal transport costs that are accrued when traveling through the region. Excluding toll road fees, South Africa seems to be the cheapest country to transport in. Both South African and foreign transporters pay the same toll fees. FESARTA is developing a schedule of costs along transport corridors, for the region.
South Africa has a transport memorandum of understanding (MOU), which is drawn up by stakeholders to identify and provide corrective action to the problems faced by truckers along the various transport routes The MOU is drawn up with the Botswana Lesotho Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS) countries, which simplifies the permit structure. There are also bilateral agreements in place with countries such as Zambia Zimbabwe Malawi and Mozambique. Such agreements enable transporters to purchase permits to enter these countries from the Cross border Road Transport Agency CBRTA in Pretoria. An annual permit costs R1 690 compared to the over R20 000 for an annual permit in Botswana.
The SADC has the task of harmonizing legislation. At the annual roads, road traffic and road transport sub committee meeting (RSCom), government representatives and regional stakeholders agree on a programme for harmonization. The driving licence standard was set and other countries are currently implementing them. Road traffic signs have been agreed upon. A panel of experts is tasked to discuss abnormal loads, road safety, vehicle dimensions, load on vehicles, dangerous goods, etc. The panel however is not funded adequately and is therefore not effective enough.
Transit time at Beitbridge
FESARTA manages the World Bank funded task team project at Beitbridge, which includes a monitoring contract by Transport Logistics Consultants. The secret of the Beitbridge transit time is the electronic pre-clearance of vehicles. The average figures for a northbound load, are around four days for a multiple line entry consolidated load, one day for a single line entry break bulk load, 12 hours for a refrigerated load and six hours for a tanker. Southbound figures are less.
The spread of HIV/AIDS along trucking routes from East Africa down the north south corridor causes concern for FESARTA. FESARTA currently works with World Vision, World Food Program, SADC and Comesa to extend the South Africa project along the corridors into Africa. The South African Trucking Against AIDS project managed by Ikaheng, focuses on the major trucking routes and has set up 12 wellness centres at hot spots throughout the country. Credit for the funding of this project goes to international donors including the Swedish donor Sida (Swedish International Donor Agency), Sustainable funding and good centralized management are the key to ensuring this project succeeds.
Sub-Saharan African Transport Policy Program SSATP
This program funded through the World Bank is developed by regional stakeholders and implemented by the regional economic communities such as SADC and Comesa. Its goal is poverty reduction. The SSATP emphasizes the reduction of costs to a consumer, through removing non-physical barriers to more efficient transport along transport corridors. The SSATP plans interventions that are captured by the RECs and then directed to the relevant governments for adoption and implementation. FESARTA works closely with SSATP on this program ~
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