By Johannes Hangula
AFTER the national dialogue on the regulation of heavy motor vehicles and conditions of employment of truck drivers in Namibia held recently by the National Road Safety Council in partnership with the Ministry of Works and Transport, various outcomes were proposed.
NRSC chairman Eliphas !Owos-oab, Nampol commissioner Ralph Ludwig and Damien Mabengano from the Ministry of Works updated the public on the outcomes from the national dialogue.
The following outcomes emerged; as it was agreed that: restriction on driving of heavy motor vehicles would negatively affect Namibia’s economy and its competitive advantage of trade, import and export with landlocked countries in SADC. In addition; self-regulation is a preferred option going forward, in respect the National Logistic Association (NLA) and Private Sector Road-safety Forum (PSRF) representing transport operators pledged to come up with a self-regulation model within a week, such be considered in an arrangement involving NRSC and truck drivers.
The Ministry of Labour will address the issue raised by the truck drivers in terms of conditions of employment and initiate engagement with the concerned group. Further, the NRSC will formally direct, through its line Ministry, a request regarding employment conditions within a given timeframe; and this will lead to a tripartite engagement between the Ministry of Works, transport operators and truck drivers.
The outcome of the tripartite engagement will outline Namibia’s position on the regulation of heavy motor vehicles and employment conditions of truck drivers and ultimately produce a self-regulatory model within the framework of existing road traffic and transport regulations. Heavy motor vehicles’ involvement in road accidents has risen significantly on Namibia’s road safety list, with recent accidents reports of single vehicles collisions with heavy trucks that are associated with mass causalities, as result of long driving hours and drivers’ fatigue, coupled with deteriorating conditions of employment of truck drivers. However, Namibia still cannot restrict the movement of heavy vehicles as a result of increased trade with its SADC neighbours like Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, DRC, Zimbabwe and Angola. Another vital factor is the growth of freight transport and number of heavy vehicles on transport corridors such as Walvis Bay-Ndola- Lubumbashi, Trans- Kalahari, Trans-Orange and Trans- Kunene. It was decided too that another reason Namibia is unable to impose restrictions on heavy vehicles movement on the road, was due to the Logistic Hub Project which was established under the umbrella of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), in terms of which Namibia positions itself as a regional leader in logistics and distributions, the cargo volumes handled will have to double by 2017. Furthermore Namibia does not have a road traffic management system (RTMS) as a self-regulatory scheme, as in the case of South Africa. The RTMS is an industry-led self-regulatory scheme the encourages consignees, consignors and transport operators engaged in the road logistics value chain to implement a vehicle management system that preserves road infrastructure, improves road safety and increases the productivity of the logistics value chain.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015