South Africa comes to Tunbridge Wells to discuss road safety

Wednesday 22 August 2018

One of Tunbridge Wells’ foremost business organisations, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), has played host to some international guests who sought expert advice from the association’s key policy advisers. Representatives from South Africa’s Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) travelled to Royal Tunbridge Wells to discuss road safety issues facing companies transporting goods across Africa from FTA, the largest and most influential business organisation in the UK logistics sector.

The C-BRTA manages the border crossing between South Africa and its neighbouring Sub-Saharan African nations and came to Tunbridge Wells to learn lessons from the success of the UK’s £121 billion logistics industry.

Mr Sipho Khumalo, Chief Executive Officer of the C-BRTA, commented: “While we have a bustling international trade economy that continues to grow every day, commercial vehicle safety is our priority and it must be improved to lower the risk of collisions as freight travels domestically and across South Africa’s borders. To ensure safe and easy passage, we need to improve our road freight infrastructure and robust commercial vehicle safety standards. Representing 17,000 members of the UK logistics sector, FTA is perfectly placed to advise us on how to develop these rules. We’re committed to driving economic growth and prosperity, which will be borne out of safe, efficient trading partnerships, and our meeting with FTA has thrown up plenty of new ideas for us to adopt back home.”

The C-BRTA’s UK trip was arranged by Sevenoaks-based infrastructure services company FM Conway, which was able to showcase the UK’s best practice approach to health and safety with tours of the business’ work and a briefing with Transport for London.

Dave Conway, FM Conway’s Quality and Environmental Manager – who is also Chair of BSI Road Traffic Safety group and Head of UK Delegation to international standards group for road safety ISO/TC241 said: “The UK highways industry has developed a deserved reputation as an international leader in road safety, developing processes and procedures but also focusing on behavioural change to instill a safety-first mentality across the sector.

“We were pleased to welcome the C-BRTA and the South African Department of Transport to the UK to share this wealth of knowledge and experience, helping to make sure workers and members of the public stay safe on the roads.”

Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at the FTA, commented: “FTA has developed a worldwide reputation as the voice of the UK’s logistics industry, which is at the heart of the nation’s economic growth. International trade is booming in South Africa and the C-BRTA want to develop vehicle safety standards to improve its industry performance levels and lower the risk of collisions between commercial vehicle operators and other road users.

“We were delighted to meet C-BRTA to discuss the importance of commercial vehicle safety and share lessons learned. We advised on the development of a set of rules in partnership with on-the-ground operators to ensure the solutions will be welcomed by the industry and reflect the unique South African environment.”

The meeting was attended by:

  • Mr Sipho Khumalo – Chief Executive Officer, C-BRTA
  • Mr Samson Koloi – Executive Manager, Research & Development, C-BRTA
  • Ms Tracy Naik – Senior Manager, International Relations, C-BRTA
  • Mr Siyabonga Magama – South African Department of Transport
  • Mr Dave Conway - Quality and Environmental Manager, FM Conway
  • Mr James Hookham - Deputy Chief Executive, FTA
  • Ms Natalie Chapman - Head of South of England & Urban Policy, FTA
  • Ms Denise Beedell - Policy Manager – Vans & Urban, FTA
  • Brian Wren – the delegation’s driver