Transporters of stone, concrete in road overload legislation clampdowns

22 April 2015

Consignees of road freight as well as those receiving loads will need to carefully manage and administrate vehicle freights to prevent prosecution in term of recently promulgated overloading legislation.

In terms of the legislation authorities may prosecute both consignees of freight, as well as consignors if they are found to receive and accept over laden vehicles. The onus will also be placed on the parties to produce and keep record of every truck load undertaken for a period of at least five years while drivers should have the required load documentation with them at all times.

Speaking at a transportation workshop held on behalf of the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) and the Southern Africa Readymix Association (Sarma), road traffic legislation expert, Alta Swanepoel, advised companies, which either transport or receive regular loads of goods, to be aware of the changes in legislation in order to avoid prosecution in future.

Road damage

“In terms of the National Road Traffic Amendment Act, 64 of 2008, the transportation of freights such as sand, stone and concrete will need to be very carefully managed as all loads measured across the entire vehicle or per axle will need to comply with the vehicles specifications as well as legal limits. Extra precautions will also need to be made to prevent shifting loads that may cause any one axle to carry excessive weight which will be deem the entire vehicle to be overloaded.

“The legislation arises from Parliament instructing the Department of Transport (DOT) to stop overloading where it starts. Faced with billions of Rands of roads damage bills on an annual basis Parliament said the current overloading legislation needs to be changed. As a result DOT has created a national overload control policy as part of which the minister of transport has begun enforcing the existing national road traffic amendment act.

“Failure to comply is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of up to R240 000 fine or a six year prison sentence or both. The enforcement of the legislation is however expected to have a positive effect on the percentage of overloaded vehicles on the road as overloading will be stopped at the source. This in turn will lead to less damage to our roads and less costly infrastructure repairs,” said Swanepoel.

She explained that more careful attention will need to be paid by companies at the point of origin of loads as well as where they are received. Accurate documentation will need to be generated and system put in place to ensure compliance from the point of loading to off-loading. Additional requirements such as proof of insurance per load, spillage prevention measures and other requirements also need to be noted by all parties concerned.

Cost concerns

Director of both Aspasa and Sarma, Nico Pienaar, said the enforcement of the National Road Traffic Amendment Act would have a cost implication for companies, as better administration would be needed and would require extra personnel in many instances. Also, companies will need to purchase accurate weighing equipment to ensure vehicles are accurately loaded and weighed.

“We therefore call on Government to enforce the legislation equally across all sectors. In our experience the legal and scrupulous operators across the country will be forced to turn away small operators whose vehicles do no comply. Less scrupulous operators will however keep on loading them up, and unless properly enforced our members will be at a disadvantage,” said Pienaar.

He concluded that compliance and documentation as proof of compliance is critical and strongly suggested that road transport managers become familiar with the requirements of the Act, as well as the administrative burden that is required. “It may also pay to engage the services of a road traffic legislation expert such as Alta Swanepoel in order to ensure necessary steps are taken to proactively prevent fines and prosecution in future.”

Aspasa, Nico Pienaar, Tel: (011) 791 3327, Fax: 086 647 8034, Email: [email protected], Web:

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