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The year is almost drawing to a close – a word from RMI’s CEO

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As another year draws to a close, it has been a privilege to see and connect with so many of our members around the country at the recent AGM’s. It is also of course election year where we elect our officials and main office bearers for the coming two years.

I am reminded that nothing beats face to face communication and have so enjoyed the personal touch and awareness which can be lost when meetings are held virtually. In my opinion one-on-one discussions and sharing of information is still the most effective way to communicate when important decisions and connections need to be cemented. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our newly appointed and re-appointed officer bearers around the country. I would sincerely like to thank you for your contribution to the RMI. We appreciate how much of your valuable time it takes to serve, often taking time from your own businesses.

I cannot overestimate the invaluable role our office bearers play and the sacrifices they make to help grow this industry we all love so much. I still regard the RMI as a big family that cares for all of its employees, members and stakeholders and unflinchingly

supports its slogan of ‘belonging is better business’. The selfless service of these office bearers is testimony to that ethos. Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you

believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Thank you for loving what you do and for stepping forward to give of your time and expertise.

Focus on safety

With just six weeks left until the holiday season the focus is going to shift increasingly to  safety and preholiday safety checks for drivers. Safety is however an all year problem as South Africa has one of the worst accident rates. We are losing 13 500 people to road crashes each year. That cost is born through our taxes and the Road Accident Fund. This draws us to the importance of reliable parts on vehicles and the impact of illegal parts which could be inferior to genuine parts and which add to the growing number of fatalities on the country’s roads. We support all efforts by our associations to call for a more compliant industry and call out illicit trade through the various whistle blower lines.

Our roads are also plagued with unroadworthy vehicles where many of the safety critical components have long been neglected. These vehicles are death traps, not only for the passengers in the vehicle but for other road users too. We have to get serious about regular maintenance of vehicle components to make sure our roads are safer. And this is where our drive for PTI (Periodic testing and Inspection) of vehicles comes in and needs to continue to gain traction during the coming year.

Government may implement various road safety initiatives trying to inculcate a culture of compliance with the driving public, but while there are still no adequate vehicle inspection controls, the problem will persist. I believe the RMI, through its 8 500 members can make a positive contribution to road safety. All of our various associations are involved in the upkeep and maintenance of vehicles throughout their lifespan, in terms of their sale, maintenance, repair and testing. It is our strong belief that should a vehicle be maintained and in a roadworthy and safe condition, it will have a positive impact on road safety and decrease the number of fatalities from road crashes while also creating jobs in the retail and vehicle testing sectors.

RMI CEO - Jakkie Olivier