LYDENBURG – Reinhardt Transport, Amalgamated Bulk and Transmac stated in an email to Steelburger/Lydenburg News that their trucks and drivers cannot accept the invitation to use the R36/Bambi-Badfontein Road as an alternative to Long Tom Pass.
The company said it will then still use the pass to transport minerals, including chrome. AJ van Rensburg Incorporated, on behalf of Reinhardt, said, “Our clients will persist with the R37 Long Tom Pass route, as they are entitled to do, and therefore the trucks recently noticed on this route.”
The newspaper contacted various trucking companies with regard to the by-law and notice implemented and issued. It asked the companies whether they were aware of this by-law, and why they are not adhering to the instructions of Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM).
On October 1, TCLM implemented and issued a notice and by-law that orecarrying trucks are thereby prevented from using certain roads. The notice stated: “The municipal traffic officers and by-law enforcers have been instructed to redirect the heavy load trucks to the above streets and to ensure compliance by all truck drivers.”
The municipality said that Lydenburg, Voortrekker, Kerk, Lange, Van Rensburg, Sentraal, Kantoor, De Beer, Eeufees and Burhmann streets are now prohibited for heavy-load trucks. This does not include supermarket, filling station and furniture shop transport vehicles.
Van Rensburg confirmed that drivers of its clients (Reinhardt) have received these notices. “The notice that was received by our drivers is wrong, in that Voortrekker Street is not only a municipal road but a subsidised regional public road.” Van Rensburg Incorporated said that they cannot accept the invitation to use the R36, as this road results in a route that is 30 kilometres longer.
“The route is currently the subject of road repairs, with almost 60 kilometres of dirt road under construction with stop/go controls. These factors cause additional maintenance to our clients’ trucks as well as a time delay.
The use of this route not only frustrates our clients’ contractual obligations to deliver minerals timeously, but also narrows our clients’ profit margin as a result of the additional kilometres and maintenance via this route.”
Van Rensburg further stated that in the event that trucks and/or drivers are penalised or impounded as threatened in the notice, their clients will have no option but to follow legal remedies available to them to protect their legal rights to a public road and their contractual obligations.
“Our clients undertake to instruct their drivers to exclusively utilise and operate heavy vehicles on the subsidised regional public roads constituting the R36 and R37 in Lydenburg, and any of its drivers that divert from these routes into smaller roads of the town will face disciplinary sanctions.
Our clients’ drivers have been advised of this undertaking, and any drivers of our clients that divert from these routes into smaller municipal roads of town in the absence of a traffic official ordering them to do so or the R36 being channelled into Potgieter Street, can be reported to our clients. “Our clients stay receptive to discuss the matter in more detail with other stakeholders in an effort to find a solution that is acceptable to all concerned.”
The newspaper sent the same queries to other trucking companies, but at the time of going to press, no response was received.
TCLM responds to queries about the trucks on the pass and town roads:
TCLM reacted to queries sent through about the trucks currently being spotted making their way through town again.
Acting communications manager, Themba Sibiya said that the by-law enforcement team is at work and it should be noted that their responsibility covers a wide range of activities. “As a result, they cannot be visible at one focus area, as Thaba Chweu covers Lydenburg, Graskop, Sabie and northern areas. However, the concern is noted.”
Sibiya confirmed that the municipal by-laws are implemented and that council recently adopted some by-laws which are at the gazetting phase after receiving comments from the public. “Your concern (with regard to the trucks) is noted, and it is also a concern for the municipality which requires attention. Engagements with relevant stakeholders are in progress.
The trucks are being stopped. However, this is not happening on a daily basis due to inadequate human resources. The municipality is committing to improve the traffic visibility in line with its festive season operations.
“The municipality is currently engaging with the provincial department of community, safety and liaison, department of public works, and transport including the truck owners to find a permanent solution to the problem.” Sibiya emphasised that the programme has not stopped.
“Our by-law enforcement and traffic control team is working on the programme. The municipality will take stronger action to ensure compliance with the municipal by-laws which include the redirecting of trucks around the towns Lydenburg, Sabie and Graskop.”