The Transport Sector Retirement Fund (TSRF) with its 70 000 members from 3000 employers is keenly aware that the majority of its members (70%) earn their bread and butter whilst transporting goods and people on our country’s roads.
“As much as our aim is to preserve the livelihoods of our members and their families (through their retirement funds and death- and disability cover), we are also committed to help ensure their comfort and safety while they are still actively employed,” says the Fund’s principal officer, Joe Letswalo.Truck crashes cost the transport industry up to R 18-billion annually and have a devastating effect on individuals, their families, transport operators, aligned industries and indeed the whole country.
“As a retirement fund, we continually look for ways to improve members’ lives. In this endeavour, the TSRF has developed a responsible investment strategy to build more truck stops to enhance the safety and standard of overnight parking facilities for truck drivers; and to create transport hubs along major routes where transporters can easily access quality restaurants-, primary healthcare-, refuelling and auxiliary services,” explains Letswalo.There are an insufficient number of truck stops, and no established truck stop brand in South Africa; and often the existing truck stops do not provide adequate rest and security facilities.
TSRF’s truck stop investment strategy aligns with the CSIR’s research findings and recommendations, including more and better rest areas; facilities for regular safety checks; improved integration of road safety and fleet management systems; and improved regulation.
“We, at TSRF, consider truck stops to be this missing link in the country’s road transport and safety strategy.”The Transport Sector Retirement Fund aims to develop a national truck stop brand which will create a strong, recognisable identity as an endorsement of standards and regulations that support the transport and logistics industry. The first truck stop upgraded and further developed by the TSRF is the Harrismith Highway Junction Truck Stop on the N3 corridor. This expansion was done in a joint venture with the Highway Group. The Highway Junction is now the first multi-brand facility of its kind in South Africa and undoubtedly one of the biggest and busiest truck stops on the continent, with more than a 1000 trucks parking at this facility every night.
“We have the advantage of being the first mover and believe truck stops will support the creation of efficient transport hubs,” explains Letswalo. The TSRF, through its Truck Stop Fund, has already earmarked sites in Cape Town, East London, Colesberg and Musina for development. The new truck stop sites are expected to be completed during 2020/2021.
“Further to this, our partnership with the Arrive Alive Online Initiative will assist us to cross share knowledge and information in the transport sector, and to create a greater awareness of the challenges faced by transporters, and the steps taken to address these challenges to ultimately limit the risks and exposure our members face on a daily basis,” says Letswalo.
Advocate Johan Jonck, owner of the Arrive Alive Online Initiative, shares this vision. “We look forward to close cooperation with the TSRF and our joint efforts to enhance safety for all the valued members of the Fund. We believe that an informed road user is a safer road user and information portals can contribute to the safer sharing of roads by all road users, irrespective of their modes of transport,” ends Jonck.
Relevant news updates and more information will be made available on www.arrivealive.co.za; as well as on the following blogs: roadsafety.co.za; accidents.co.za; truckandfreight.co.za; insurancechat.co.za; and on Facebook: @ArriveAlive.co.za and Twitter: @_ArriveAlive.