The RMI continuously strives to inform and guide members regarding legislation and regulations regarding the operating of a business in South Africa. The object of the process is not to try and enforce the laws or act as a watchdog, but rather to help guide members through the huge number of regulations and laws that are mandatory in business in South Africa.
The RMI appreciates that members often do not have the time to read and interpret all the existing and breaking legislation. As a value-add to members, the RMI accordingly attempts to interpret and inform members on all new pieces of legislation. The information provided by the RMI does not supersede the laws and the business owner remains responsible for their own actions in line with the law.
This process of support has been most visible over this PANDEMIC period. During the Lockdown period the RMI and TEPA have been working extremely hard to ensure that there is no confusion amongst the member networks regarding the requirements of the laws.
In order to better appreciate the magnitude of the task, the following are the statistics (not limited to) as at the time of writing this article:
- Laws: The Disaster Management Act.
- Regulations: 23 different regulations
- Directions relating to regulations: 99 different directions
- Guidelines and Notices: 18 guidelines
- Total: 140 documents
Add to this the Labour Act, Health Act, Transport Act, and numerous others that had to be referenced in determining any interpretation before such could be circulated.
In addition to this work, there were ongoing representations at Ministerial levels in attempts to secure as early an opening of the industry as possible. The RMI in association with NAAMSA achieved success for the entire motor industry in this regard. There were also representations to increase the threshold of qualification for support from R50 million to R100 million which allowed many more of our members in the motor industry to participate in the scheme.
TEPA kept an ongoing communication channel open with members using the TELEGRAM APP with approximately 83 communications to the member subscribers. At every junction, as the regulations changed, the RMI as an organisation, quickly collated, interpreted and provided guidance on the correct way to proceed, without falling foul of the LAW at the time.
This guidance and interpretation which has been the hallmark of the RMI in protecting members from being held liable for their actions, is in continuation of the same processes that were followed with the Waste Tyre Plan and the MIOSA structures. Here again the RMI worked continuously to ensure that what had been published as LAW was being implemented as best as possible and that the members understood the implications of the LAWS. The RMI, in addition to the guidance processes, has also not overlooked its responsibility to seek to mitigate any of these LAWS being applied in-correctly by the authorities. In the case of the Waste Tyre industry, the RMI is in constant contact with the Waste Management Bureau to assist with TEPA members’ complaints and to provide guidance to the Bureau directly. The RMI has spent untold hours in ongoing consultations regarding the applications of the LAWS and continues to do so at the highest levels.
TEPA has also worked with the Department of Employment and Labour (Chief Inspectorate) to ensure that where no option but compliance exists, such as OHS, that the members are able to access recognised and reputable support services at nominal rates. These costs are far below the industry norm via CSRS (Complete Specialised Retail Solutions), the specialists in the industry with whom the RMI has entered into a Service Level Agreement on behalf of members to ensure not only compliance, but also suitable service delivery from the specialist supplier.
TEPA negotiated a specialised insurance package directly for the Tyre and Parts Dealers during 2015 when significant savings were available. The offer has since changed somewhat to account for the scale of economies in the take up of the product. However the option still exists to obtain a quotation for the bespoke insurance package through the RMI.
The RMI has, as one of its core strategies, the requirement to continuously lobby on behalf of members at all levels of the industry and government. This function is consistently and continuously driven by both the Associations and the RMI regulatory compliance department.
TEPA works with the SABS and the NRCS on an ongoing basis to provide industry feedback to the 18 technical committees and sub-committees, as well as working with the NRCS on Tyre, vehicle building and the component compulsory specifications, which aim to ensure quality products reach the members.
The RMI and TEPA are committed to continuing to provide a superior quality service to members in line with all aspects of running a business that are least understood, considered and implemented. These include all the laws, bylaws, regulations, standards and specifications pertaining to the Motor Industry of South Africa.
The proposed measures for COVID-19 tax relief were published in draft bills on 1 April, with revised draft bills published on 1 May and 19 May.
The most recent iteration of the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bills made substantial changes to the calculations and requirements for the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) relief offered to employers.
This has created a lot of confusion for employers, notes Yolandi Esterhuizen, registered tax practitioner an compliance manager, Sage Africa & Middle East.
As such, employers that calculated their claims as per the draft legislation in April will have to revise their claim and align it with the bills published on 19 May.
Since some changes are retrospective, employers will need to apply the changes to claims dating to April 1. The first set of bills proposed the following:
- Increased ETI amounts of up to R500, depending on the remuneration of the employee.
- Employees who did not qualify based on the usual criteria could now qualify. This included employees who already qualified for ETI for 24 months and employees who are 30 to 65 years old.
- The ETI amounts for the new qualifying employees should not have been pro-rated if they were employed and remunerated for less than 160 hours during the month. An employee could have been employed and paid for 1 hour and still qualify for ETI of up to R500.
- The requirement to be employed on or after 1 October 2013 to qualify for ETI was still applicable.
- There was no proposal to amend the “monthly remuneration” used in the calculation of ETI if an employee was employed and remunerated for less than 160 hours during the month.
The revised bills published on 19 May made the following changes:
- An increased ETI amount of up to R750, depending on the remuneration of the employee, effective on 1 April 2020.
- The “monthly remuneration” used in calculating the ETI amount should not be grossed up to 160 hours if an employee was employed and remunerated for less than 160 hours. The actual remuneration is used to calculate the ETI amount. This is only applicable for May to July and does not affect the remuneration calculated for April.
- The additional ETI amount for the new qualifying employees should be pro-rated if they were employed and remunerated for less than 160 hours during the month. This requirement means that employers would have over-claimed ETI in April since the value was not pro-rated in the first draft.
- The requirement to be employed on or after 1 October 2013 to qualify for ETI was removed, but only from May to July. The ETI calculation would also differ for those employees employed before 1 October 2013, or employees employed on or after 1 October 2013.
- If no wage regulation measure or the national minimum wage was not applicable to an employee, the employee could still qualify if a wage of at least R2 000 was paid. This requirement was removed effective May to July.
Most of these changes only have to be applied from May to July and would not affect the claims an employer already made for April, said Esterhuizen.
Due to the ETI calculation and the new pro-rata requirements mean that most employers may have filed inaccurate claims for April and possibly for May, too.
If an employer claimed more in a month than it was supposed to, it will need to restate the EMP201.
If it claimed a lesser amount than it was entitled to, it can add the difference in the ETI value to the next month’s claim on the EMP201, said Esterhuizen.
This should help clear the confusion and save time for employers. The good news is, these calculations should automatically be applied if you have an electronic payroll system, she said.
This story was originally published by Business Tech.
With the economy finally opening up businesses in the tyre industry is adapting to the new normal.
Hedley Judd, National Director of the Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association (TEPA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says business is reasonably back to normal trading levels in the rural and country areas where they have seen a 75 – 80% return to normal business but is still erratic in the metropolitan areas. “We are seeing a spread ranging from 40% levels to the 75% mark,” he says. The effect of the lockdown on aftermarket component manufacturing is also being felt in sectors, but not to the extent at this stage to be debilitating to the business.
Judd says of significance the explosion in digital communication during lockdown has seen many dealers who traditionally shied away from technology embracing the systems and in fact finding opportunities in the sharing of technical specifications and even being able to share stock to assist other dealers in trouble with traditional supply. Lockdown has also fast tracked collaboration between three of the aftermarket group of associations. TEPA, together with the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) and the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA), for example have got together with Gondolier, the importers of Jonnesway tools, to release the first in a series of podcasts for members. The podcasts will focus on the launch and development of a support program which will provide members with an informative and educational series focusing on tools, how to use them and how to evaluate the real value of quality tools
“There is no doubt however that our members, who represent 1 100 of the tyre equipment and parts dealers nationally, have felt the stress of lockdown. Adherence to the regulations comes at a cost and many struggled to access the various financial relief measures through corporate funding mechanism, UIF and TERS. “Fortunately, the RMI stepped in and offered members the assistance of the Motor Industry Staff Association, MISA, to facilitate the claims process for TERS benefits on behalf of the RMI members’ employees. This came as a huge relief for those who made use of the system at the time.”
Judd says the industry has also adapted well to the Sanitisation protocols and only reported a very limited number of COVID infections at the outset of level 4.
As businesses across South Africa adjust to “business abnormal” or “the new business normal”, Judd says he is not anticipating too much change in the automotive aftermarket industry. “We don’t believe the functional demands of the industry will change much although we do anticipate the lessons learnt during lockdown in terms of our digitisation will have a profound influence on the way the supply chain works and how business is conducted where a physical presence is not mandatory for the efficacy of the work being conducted,” concludes Judd.
After months of negotiation and planning, the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA), an association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), will be piloting its “powered by gas” programme, commenced on 22 June at two of its selected workshops in Randburg, Gauteng and Virginia in the Free State.
Attie Serfontein, ARA National Director, says interest in autogas was first identified as an ARA project in 2017 and the ARA committee were tasked with investigating and exploring possibilities of autogas technology/energy in the Automotive Aftermarket Retail Sector (REMAN) arena. “ARA has made excellent progress to date liaising with autogas specialists and other key industry players to the point where we are now able to implement a National gas-conversion project, piloting at Almo Engineering and Randburg Diesel and Turbo. Both owners, Frank Mac NICOL and Johan Botha respectively, have been involved with gas conversions for many years. The project is being run in conjunction with gas specialist consultant, Eddie Cooke, ARA Members from all major Regions and other expert industry stakeholders.
Serfontein says earlier this year ARA toured the country to ensure there would be sufficient specialist workshops to manage the conversions and subsequent maintenance and repairs on any units installed across Southern Africa. “This includes both the commercial and passenger vehicle car-parc,” says Serfontein.
COVID-19 unfortunately stalled the start of the pilot (with the brent crude oil price playing a crucial role) but the teams are now ready to move forward. Training will commence via a virtual platform from Italy, where the supplier of the goods are situated, to South Africa. “The training will be ground-breaking in the sense that the required skill will be transferred (virtually) in order to do a successful conversion on the internal combustion engine, as we know it. In South Africa a new qualification – the Engine and Fuels Systems Management Mechanic – has been developed and registered to facilitate this,” says Frank Mac NICOL, ARA Chairman and owner of Almo Engineering.
The workshops will each supply a “guinea pig” vehicle for the test period. The technicians will first undergo virtual training via electronic media from Italy, where after the two vehicles will be converted to run on LPG. The training and conversion exercise will run over a period of five days.
After completion, testing and monitoring will be performed over a period of two to three months. “The two vehicles are equipped with tracker systems, which will be used to monitor driving habits, speeds, fuel consumption etc. Once all data has been collected and compared with previous records we can safely roll the program out to workshops throughout the country,” says Mac NICOL.
Serfontein says ARA is very positive about progress made thus far. Gas is such a great alternative energy option for motorists. “Autogas conversions are relatively simple to effect. Further, the payback time on conversions is modest, depending almost entirely on mileage. Autogas is a great alternative energy option for the immediate future.
Current research by a participant gas conversion engineering company, estimates that conversion of state vehicles would immediately produce savings of over 60% – a higher figure than in the private sector due to the factor that gas cannot be stolen, unlike petrol. It further estimates a break-even time period for a conversion at six to 12 months, depending on daily mileage,” he concludes.
CAPTION: Gas conversion at Randburg Diesel and Turbo on commercial vehicles have taken place for a number of years. The pilot will now look at sedan vehicles.
Have you ever jumped from a significant height with straight legs? It’s not a comfortable feeling is it? That’s because there’s nothing to absorb the shock that’s been created, and so that shock has the potential to cause great damage. That’s why bent legs help: they help to absorb the shock.
The same principle applies when you have a car accident. Of course, stepping out of a vehicle that looks much like a crumpled tissue is sure to make you wonder just how safe you are. Most of us would feel more secure if we believed we had the protection of a rigid, unyielding tank. But, in fact, the opposite is true.
According to Richard Green, National Director of SAMBRA (South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association) an association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), most car manufacturers develop crumple zones on automobiles because they help to absorb the shock of an impact and to make sure that the force of the impact is absorbed within the crumple zone, rather than being transferred to the safety cell which surrounds the driver and passengers.
This is a delicate balancing act. Green points out, “On the one hand, a car’s frame has to be strong enough to resist a certain amount of force, but too much resistance may lead to injury for the car’s inhabitants. Getting this balance right means considering the size and weight of the vehicle. You also need to think about the force that may arise if a car collides with a moving object as opposed to a stationary one. All of these dynamics must be taken into account,” Green says.
He adds that it’s not all up to the vehicle manufacturer. The driver and passenger also have a role to play, by ensuring they are wearing seatbelts. “If not, the idea of a safety cell is compromised,” Green explains. “No matter how carefully a car’s crumple zones are designed, it’s inevitable that some force will remain unabsorbed. However, when you wear your seatbelt, you make sure that this is mitigated as far as possible.”
This raises another question. If crumple zones make sure that most of the force of impact is absorbed, or at least directed away from those inside the car, why not make the whole car a crumple zone? The answer to this, says Green, is because the ceilings, floors and doors folding on the passengers would spell certain disaster. “That’s why the crumple zones are usually located at the front and back of the car, while the passenger cabin is far more rigid. Not that passengers are completely exposed or vulnerable, though. Where crumple zones handle external force, airbags ensure the driver and passenger do not make contact, upon impact, with the rigid dashboard or steering wheel inside the car,” he says.
The capsule where inhabitants sit, the safety cage, is also reinforced with pillars running the length of the car (from floor to ceiling), side impact bars, the roof and the floor itself. These features ensure that the safety cage maintains its shape in the event of a collision.
Crumple zones have, in fact, been a key part of car design since as far back as 1932, when they were first introduced by Bela Barenyi, an engineer for Mercedes-Benz. Although cars have obviously changed and evolved dramatically since then, Barenyi’s concept of a vehicle sectioned into a rigid central zone surrounded by the front and back crumple zones remains unchanged.
Numerous tests have shown that a crumple zone can stop a car upon collision in 0.2 seconds as opposed to 0.1 second if the car, theoretically, did not have crumple zones. “In this scenario, the crumple zone therefore literally cuts the force of the crash in half. All told, it means that you really have nothing to worry about if your car is severely damaged in a crash. Although it seems very wrong that an expensive item should fold in on itself in this manner, your car is doing exactly what it should – and making sure that you remain as safe as possible,” Green concludes.
Now that you ready to go back to work, are you ready to respond to a positive test in your workplace?
Please find below the invite for our free webinar to guide employers and managers in the event your staff is tested positive.