Heavy-duty trucks blamed for road damage

2012-02-07 19:08

Cape Town - Heavy-duty trucks are causing many of the road safety and infrastructure problems in Mpumalanga and North West, Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin said on Tuesday.

The presidential infrastructure co-ordinating commission had identified the two provinces as having "serious challenges" around road safety and infrastructure, he told the parliamentary committee on transport.

"Much of it has to do with the movement of heavy trucks," he said during a briefing by the Road Traffic Management Corporation

"Both are mining provinces through which heavy duty vehicles are moving, causing huge damage to road infrastructure."

He said much of the freight transport should be on railways and not on roads.

The department was working with public enterprises and Transnet in looking at branch railway lines.

However, there had not been a great appetite from the private sector to operate from these lines.

In general, road freight was not as effectively regulated as it should be and was an area government had to "push into".

The department had to move towards periodic vehicle testing to checks for roadworthiness.

"Stopping a vehicle on the road creates a visible presence which is part of getting a different mindset of road users," said Cronin.

The department was considering "periodic vehicle testing" as was applied to public transport vehicles, which were tested every six months.

"We have to start to make sure that apart from stopping vehicles on the road, there is a proper testing of vehicles," he said.

"And the priority should be given to heavy vehicles - the freight vehicles."

Many freight hauliers were responsible but there were a lot of "fly by night operators".

Cronin said government was trying to expand the mandate of the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

The department was looking at increasing co-operation between provinces and Sanral.

"We want to assist provinces in project management, tendering, and proper prioritisation," he said.

"It is something we want to roll out generally."

  • Taetjo - 2012-02-07 19:22

    There are no trucks going through the suburb of Florapark in Polokwane and the roads there have massive potholes. Don't overlook corruption too.

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-07 19:26

    Jeez, Jeremy. Just how long has it taken you to work that out?

      Francois - 2012-02-07 20:06

      It has taken him and his party and its alliance partners too long, most probably since they have not found away to corrupt railway tenders. Whilst we have submarines lying afloat in Simons Town to fend off the Yanks that are going to attack us next week, we did not have money to build a couple of decent railways, specifically on the chroms and platinum belts of SA. It is not rocket science, but we bought a couple of rocket launchers, did we not Hypocrite Mbeki?

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-07 19:36

    How about also blaming the gov 4 awarding tenders to shady incompetent companies to construct the roads.

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-07 19:36

    How about also blaming the gov 4 awarding tenders to shady incompetent companies to construct the roads.

  • George - 2012-02-07 19:37

    Certainly not Sh@#$it workmanship in the building of the roads is it

  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-02-07 19:37

    And what happened to all the railways that serviced the whole country before 1994?? Overgrown by weeds and grass and rusted to pieces. Will it ever be posible to repair that infrastructure. I knew the total of kilometers that was in use and what is left now. Just can't recall it.

      Sean - 2012-02-07 19:55

      I think that parts of the rail have been sold for scrap metal... so you think we road-users have a problem :-)

      flyswat - 2012-02-07 20:46

      It's a pitiful shame.

  • George - 2012-02-07 19:39

    All the fat MP'S driving around sitting on there fat asses

  • Thomas - 2012-02-07 19:46

    Trucks are paying R10,000's rands in licence fees and tolls, they pay their way, you destroyed the rail infastructure with your corruption and greed, get your big f@t @rse out of your big f@t BMW, roll your sleeves up and do the job we are paying you to do.Bl@@dy useless...............

  • Sharon - 2012-02-07 19:49

    If they think its bad now, wait for the tolling system to start. Truck owners are going to instruct their drivers to use back roads to avoid paying the excessive tolls and those roads were never intended for heavy vehicles.

      Sean - 2012-02-07 20:26

      unfortunately I am not quite sure about that because with them, just like with tha taxi industry, TIME is money! All that will happen is that all the costs will be recuperated from the consumer/s at the end ofv the day :( for the same reason I've mentioned above, I don't think that moving freight to transnet/rail service/s will be the preferred means of transporting o f many goods. It would take much longer for goods to reach their destination, not to mention perishables (Woolies) Won't be too happy :-) It also has to do with our very eager population growth that the suipply cannot keep up with the expectation lately oif super-fresh produce (Woolies) for example. I am being devil's advocate here, but some goods can definately be transported by rail, like non-perishables and car parts and new cars, hardware, mettals, other heavy heavy duty equipment etc. I don't feel that the smaller vans carting perishables are doing much damage to our roads as the products mentioned previously, although we, the consumer will definately pick up the bill! All this said I am all for it that these heavy non-essential an non-urgent goods must by all means be carted by rail like in the good old days! The roads will not have to be repaired as often and cause lanes to be closed due to repairwork done and in so doing cause bottle-necks during peak times and there would be less trucks on the road and most of all, less accidents. Train's brakes don't fail as often or drive into taxs!!! :-)

      flyswat - 2012-02-07 20:40

      @sean, years ago I used to order stuff from Pretoria (I'm near Riversdale in the Garden Route in a remote little town) by rail. It took two days. Today a courier from Joburg to me takes longer. Go figure.

  • flyswat - 2012-02-07 20:19

    We used to have something called railways. It was a set of parallel rails that used to carry very large engine like machines that pulled giant carriages specifically designed for transporting cargo. This was a very useful and cost effective method of moving goods to and from destinations and, as an added bonus, it used to keep trucks off the road. It also used to be very good at employing people to do the work associated with it. I wonder if anyone remembers or misses it.

      flyswat - 2012-02-07 20:27

      It's also a very nifty invention for carting hoards of people over vast distances, thereby keeping buses off the roads. Double bonus! What an excellent idea?! As an added extra extra bonus, it really saves on fuel.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 20:19

    Good for you Cronin, you commie rat! Why dont you and you dept fix the countries rail infrastructure, with that 100Billion (so you can each skim some retirement cash), and then the stuff can be freighted by rail instead of road, but this is a long term solution, not sure you guys will be around that far down the track!

  • Danie Strydom - 2012-02-07 20:21

    Goodness me. What a clever ass. He will most probably get a doctors degree for this finding. I could have told him this 15 years ago.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-07 20:40

      This is why we need them Danie. So they can discover the most obscure and elusive factors which hold us back. That is why they get paid those enormous salaries. Their brilliance exposes things hence unknown to mankind.

  • braamc - 2012-02-07 20:34

    What happened to the railways?

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 21:10

      Exactly, they inherited a really good system in good working order with enough QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED staff to operate and manage the system effectively and relatively efficiently. 20 years down the track and you have a shell of a system that has been systematically and effectively had the guts ripped out of it, along with all that was good!

  • Sharon - 2012-02-07 21:11

    these trucks are charged licence fees according to their weights,they pay for the road use,cronin and company should channel the money back into the maintanance of these roads and stop stealing it

  • Sharon - 2012-02-07 21:26

    Maria Ramos single handedly caused this problem by selling off all the rolling stock to refelct a "profit' for transnet. Clever accounting!!! You can fool some people !!! Also the police can only catch licensed cars for speeding instead of stopping all the unroadworthy cars and those without licences. Priorities are shot!!!

  • Hetha - 2012-02-07 22:09

    As long as the rail system sucks we shall be forced to use heavy duty trucks to transport goods - so fix the rail system and you will fix the road problem!! Simple!

  • hadedah - 2012-02-09 08:20

    Strange how things have changed over the years. at one time the SAR as it was at my youth was a dynamic organisation which provided all the transport for heavy items and the SAR had many heavy vehicles which did all the transport from one side of RSA to the otherside. when railways where used all over the place you can see all the railway lines totally disfunctuional not used any more and as such heavy transport has come in to being to move the good which was done by the railways. and as such the roads which were not built to take the heavy loads on it are packing up. Some how or other the correct transport of good should be done by the railways and they should be made to up grade their lines and get cracking for what was a supeb system is now totally decayed. the lighter truck convey from the rail off load points to their destinations, the accidents that happen on trucks is bad, as the drivers are paid to load and transportvery long distances by road within a short time. this is what causes the major road accidents. Many years ago I was offered R2000 to drive a heavy vehicle down to Capetown and back to johannesburg in 24 hours. thats is where the problem lies.

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