Women who are active role players in the transport and logistics field have come together and have launched a new truckers association called the Emerging Truckers Association of South Africa (TASA). The aim of the association – officially launched in Sandton, Johannesburg – is to help bring on transformation in this industry that generates R12bn per annum. The leading women seek to create an environment where emerging and upcoming role-players can also succeed and form part of the thriving field.
Deputy transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga gave the keynote address at the launch and mentioned that the department wants to revolutionize the transportation industry in a way that allows industry players the opportunity to share in the market. Chikunga then added that there needed to be an ease regarding the entry of black businesses in the industry. With TASA encouraging the creation of such, the minister assured that the association has full backing and support of the department.
Emerging cargo carriers
TASA’s vision and focus is being the voice of emerging truck operators in the country, across all sectors, that are struggling under the plight and exploitation of emerging cargo carriers by big companies. The association also has plans in place that will have the sole purpose of empowering young people, arming them with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to take part in the key businesses within the transport sector. The association promises to groom and mentor these individuals who are legally certified.
According to convener of TASA, Mary Phadi, transporters of goods such as chrome, iron-ore, food and beverages, manganese, petroleum and general cargo generate approximately R10.9bn. South African coal transporters on the hand contribute about R1.1bn.
Phadi highlighted TASA’s objectives and said “At TASA, we mainly want to represent truckers from a previously disadvantaged background with limited resources, and in supporting industries – including women who are in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) space to be a part of the network.
“TASA intends to play a role of influence within the supply chain, by changing the current status quo within the truck towing services, maintenance, sales and distribution, logistics, fuel supply, tyres supply and fitment, truck parts and spares, financing of trucks, stock exchange, bargaining council, fleet management systems, tracking services, panel beating, etc. It will entrust members to provide these services including tax filing, accounting and bookkeeping, as well as address truck safety issues.”
A lucrative industry
The transportation and logistics industry in South Africa is known as a very rewarding and productive one. However, it is very capital-intensive and many who want to enter into this industry struggle with access to capital, attaining contracts, and access to industry information which, for many, can lead to exclusion.
“TASA will embody transformation and see it through by collaborating with VBS Bank from a financial view point so that its members can have access to financial support for their businesses, ” says Phadi. “The association expects world-class quality services from its members that will be appointed as service providers within its network hence it will have a monitoring committee. Moreover, it supports members no matter their challenges and is dedicated to making sure that there is visible progress in the next year.”
“Furthermore, the association will host a road show to engage industry players in all provinces and is ready to implement radical transformation to all sectors that are linked to transportation,” concludes Queen Zwane, task organizer at TASA.
She also revealed what will take place after the launch when it comes to the association’s website, policy meeting, the nomination of representatives and office bearers, along with membership costs.
TASA does not support RTMS accreditation conditions as it presents bottlenecks and businesses end up missing out on opportunities. The association intends to change the existing rules in order to tailor them to the needs of the truckers. It also expressed its concerns about the failure of offering support by existing truckers associations.
“TASA will represent owner drivers, small transport providers to hardware and furniture stores as well as emerging cargo carriers for fuel, steel, gas, powder, sugar, and chemicals.”
Speaking of women making strides in the logistics industry, see The African Women in Supply Chain Association Inauguration!