News | Opinion
At a time when the government is deploying police resources to stop people from using many beaches, it seems incredible that
more than 2 000 vehicles every month – or upwards of 70 a day – are being illegally imported into South Africa.
What makes that figure even more incomprehensible is that most of these cars are coming in through our major ports – not being driven across the border from poverty-stricken neighbours like Zimbabwe or Mozambique.
National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa CEO Mike Mabasa estimates that 300 000 of the 12.7 million vehicles on South Africa’s roads are illegally imported.
Yearly, just under 30 000 vehicles are smuggled in, equivalent to one month’s or around 8% of new car sales.
This is costing the country R3.8 billion annually in lost taxes.
Also, not surprisingly, the “original equipment” motor manufacturers in South Africa refuse to support or service such vehicles.
Often these pirate vehicles have different specifications to those sold in South Africa which are made specially for our conditions.
So we could be sitting on a ticking road safety timebomb. The real worry, though, is how this practice continues to happen when it should, in theory, be easy enough to stop.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.