Howick truck driver crowned ‘highway hero’

2015-12-02 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Themba Vilakazi (middle) is     congratu-lated by Wayne Rautenbach, RCV general manager (left) and David Street (Fairfield Long Haul) after earning a highway heroes award last week.

PHOTO: supplied Themba Vilakazi (middle) is congratu-lated by Wayne Rautenbach, RCV general manager (left) and David Street (Fairfield Long Haul) after earning a highway heroes award last week.

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HOWICK-BASED truck driver, Themba Vilakazi (45) flew the city’s flag high when he won the best truck driver award in the South African Highway Heroes awards in Gauteng last week.

The awards were founded by Regent Commercial Vehicle Insurance (RCV) to honour the contribution made by fleet owners and truck drivers in sustaining the country’s economy.

RCV general manager, Wayne Rautenbach, said South Africa has become more aware of how important professional driver behaviour is following high- profile accidents, so they decided to honour those who not only keep the country’s economy progressing, but do so in a safe and responsible manner.

Originally from Estcourt, Vilakazi earned himself R50 000, and hhis company in Howick, Fairfield Long Haul, received R25 000 in airtime. Driving trucks for the past 15 years, Vilakazi says the secret to having an accident- free country is by adhering to the road regulations and sticking to the speed limit.

“Having worked on the highway for more than 10 years, I have never received a speeding fine and I’m proud of this achievement, and surprised [to get the award] because I never thought I would win. My wife and children will also be surprised, but I hope this will also make them happy because I’m away from home a lot.

“I also pay tribute to our driving instructor at work who always monitors and ensures that we stick to road regulations. When you learn from the best, you are bound to produce the best.”

Vilakazi raised concerns about the road carnage due to negligence and truck companies not imposing strict regulations on their drivers.

“The speed limit for truck drivers is 80km/h, but most don’t adhere to these rules and companies don’t impose strict regulations on their drivers.

“If companies tighten their laws on drivers, we will have a safe country.” RCV also launched the Highway Heroes Foundation, an initiative that will provide free driver training to partner applicants in 2016.

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