Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), manufacturer of the Dunlop, Sumitomo and Falken tire brands, has taken on the role of continental custodian and steward of Part Worn Africa, a pan-African consumer, tire and road safety advocacy initiative.
Managed by professional African public policy, regulatory and government relations advisory firm, Ethicore, Part Worn Africa aims to improve consumer protection and promote product safety, responsible trade and environmental management of part-worn and second-hand passenger tires.
While often seen as a more cost-effective alternative to purchasing brand new tires, unregulated part-worn and second-hand tires could be a major hazard to safety, and by purchasing them, motorists are fueling an illicit economy that is going unregulated.
SRSA CEO Riaz Haffejee (right) said, “The use of secondhand tires by drivers who have no knowledge of the tire’s age or repair history – together with the illegal and highly dangerous practice of ‘re-grooving’ tires to create greater tread depth – are a significant cause for concern within the continent’s informal tire sector.
“Africa has the highest rates of road traffic deaths, with 26.6 killed per 100,000 inhabitants. Various studies have shown that defective tires are one of the leading contributors to fatal collisions, therefore as a responsible tire manufacturer we cannot neglect our duty to help to ensure safety on African roads.”
Ethicore CEO Abdul Waheed Patel commented, “Part Worn Africa is set to fulfil a critical gap in working with key stakeholders to address the policy, legislative and regulatory deficits governing the proliferation of unsafe, ill-suited and illicit part-worn and secondhand tires sold and fitted for use on public roads in Africa.”