Road safety will lose traction with increased tyre tax

A stiff increase in excise duties on tyres imported from China will probably push cash-strapped South African motorists further down the slippery slope of poor road safety.

AA

This is according to the Automobile Association (AA). In a statement released late in September, the AA lamented the announcement by government of the addition of a 38.33% excise duty on tyres imported from China. This is on top of existing excise duties of between 25% and 30%. Tyres sold locally will now have an excise loading of between 63.33% and 68.33%.

The AA reasoned “that already embattled consumers will balk at paying higher prices for tyres and will, unfortunately, continue using tyres that are in a poor condition because they cannot afford the new prices”.

According to the AA: “The increase in excise duties comes after the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) argued to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) that tyres were being imported to South Africa at ‘unfairly low prices’.”

The Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA) has countered SATMC’s complaint though, saying even local manufacturers import up to 80% of the variety of tyre models they sell anyway and has questioned the rationale behind the increased taxation.

The AA also warned that public transport users will be at risk.

“Operators not wanting to spend the extra money on new tyres will continue to drive with poor condition tyres, or use inferior ‘refurbished’ tyres, putting the lives of their passengers and other road users at risk. The increased prices of tyres are, simply put, going to create major road safety problems in future,” noted the AA.

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