This is, if newly launched advocacy organisation Part Worn Africa has its way. The organisation is calling for the development and enforcement of stronger regulations governing the slae of part-worn and second hand tyres on the African continent.
According to a statement Part Worn Africa is campaigning that part-worn and second-hand tyres be universally and rigorously regulated according to stringent standards and specifications in the same vein as those which originally manufactured tyres are held to.
“There are inadequate legislative and regulatory frameworks and an absence of minimum safety and quality standards in South Africa that describe what may constitute a safe-to-use second-hand or part-worn tyre,” says the organisation.
The organisation argues that lives are lost due to the inability to enforce stricter safety and quality standards such as those applied to new tyres. Part Worn Africa stated that South African road users be it drivers, passengers, commuters or pedestrians are susceptible to “unsafe, ill-suited and illicit part-worn tyres” that may be cheaper, but in reality are dangerous and may lead to deaths.
According to the organisation South Africa has one of the highest number of fatalities from road crashes in the world at 25.1 per 100 000 of the population compared with other BRICS countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.
“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 Part Worn Africa director Abdul Waheed Patel.
In the Northern Cape many outlets are selling part-worn and second hand tyres. Mobile tyre repair and fitment businesses have mushroomed in townships across the province and they are selling these tyres , without informing the vehicle owner about the possibility that it may have been re-grooved.
According to Patel 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,” he stated.
Manufacturer of passenger car, SUV, truck and bus radial tyres, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) has partnered with Part Worn Africa as part of its ongoing commitment to tyre and manufacturing safety. “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 South Africa’s informal tyre sector,” says SRSA CEO Riaz Haffejee.
SRSA’s latest Used Tyre Survey, which collects data by visiting various second-hand tyre dealers in South Africa, reveals that, in 2017, 58% of tyres sampled were illegal or previously repaired and, therefore, not fit for use on the road. This stood at 61% for the year to date as at end of August 2018.
Motorists are urged to be vigilant when purchasing tyres as no controls currently exist that govern the condition of second-hand tyres being sold. A social media video that circulated earlier this year showed how some dealers regroove the tyres themselves. “This creates the impression that a tyre’s grooves are sufficiently deep, when the tyre is, in fact, damaged and dangerous,” said Haffejee.