The departments of Transport, Minerals and Energy as well as Environmental Affairs are all supporting the call for the introduction of periodic vehicle testing (PVT) for various reasons.
As part of the lead in petrol phase-out in 2006, the Clean Air Bill made provision for tailpipe emissions testing to be administered by the Department of Transport even though the sponsoring Minister for the legislation came from Environmental Affairs!
Minerals and Energy want to see PVT introduced as they believe that roadworthy vehicles should use less fuel, thus potentially saving the country oil imports.
The Department of Transport wants PVT as they see the benefits of roadworthy vehicles in terms of road safety benefits – up to 9% of crashes can be attributed to unroadworthiness.
So what is the plan?
It looks as though the Department of Transport is finally driving the process to legislate PVT. The current thinking is to apply this to all vehicles ten years or older and reduce the “qualifying age” annually until South African vehicle testing stations reach saturation point in terms of capacity. We expect the limit to be reached at six year old vehicles bearing in mind that all “public vehicles” – trucks, buses and minibus taxis have to be tested at least once a year.
The AA’s main concern is the cost factor to the vehicle owner and the validity of the PVT certificate – the current debate is deciding whether it be valid for 12 or 24 months.