“Unscrupulous operators take advantage of porous tyre waste disposal processes to gather ‘stock’ for resale, while others resell tyres rejected from other countries outside Africa because they are no longer fit for use. This makes them dangerous, a fact further compounded by these tyres often being ill-suited to Africa’s climate and road conditions,” explains Abdul Waheed Patel, Director of Part Worn Africa.
“There is a need to protect road users by developing, enforcing and monitoring compliance with appropriate legislative and regulatory standards and specifications for second-hand and part-worn tyres, uniformly across Africa. Drivers who may be experiencing financial pressure often choose unverified cheaper tyres without being aware of the associated safety risks,” he adds.
Safety certification for a part-worn or second hand tyre is imperative. There are inherent limits and thresholds beyond which a used tyre can be reconstituted and repurposed safely beyond its original lifespan. Once these limits have been reached, tyres should be safely disposed of in accordance with regulated tyre waste management practice. However, many of these unsafe tyres are returned into the African market, with unsuspecting and financially strapped drivers becoming the victims.
Part Worn Africa will work with governments, regulatory bodies and multi-sectoral interest groups across Africa to address the policy, legislative and regulatory deficits that expose unaware consumers to this major hazard on Africa’s roads.
Addressing these issues will also confront an unchecked illicit economy in the trade and sale of unregulated and unsafe tyres, which is also typically characterized by unfair competition, irresponsible business practices and dumping of these tyres on African roads from jurisdictions where they are no longer suitable for use elsewhere.
Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA) has partnered with Part Worn Africa as part of its ongoing commitment to tyre and manufacturing safety. SRSA manufactures passenger car, sport utility vehicle, truck and bus radial tyres from its Ladysmith facility in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, for sale in South Africa and export abroad. SRSA distributes the Dunlop, Falken and Sumitomo tyre brands in 48 African countries.
“The use of second-hand tyres, where the buyer has no knowledge of the tyre’s age or repair history – together with the illegal and highly dangerous practice of ‘re-grooving’ tyres to create greater tread depth – are a significant cause for concern within Africa’s informal tyre sector,” says Riaz Haffejee, SRSA CEO.
“Our custodianship of and partnership with Part Worn Africa seeks to advance our already well-established manufacturing, product and consumer safety initiatives such as our ‘SaferThanSafe’ campaign and the Dunlop Container Programme, which formalizes informal tyre trade in a safe manner in converted container shops,” he adds.
Part Worn Africa will lend its expertise to national champions and regional actors to heighten awareness about the causes, challenges and consequences and solutions required to address the problem of unregulated part-worn and second-hand passenger tyres in Africa.
Part Worn Africa’s advocacy campaigns and programmes are managed by pan-African government affairs firm, ETHICORE Political Lobbying.