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Aviation workers essential for COVID-19 vaccine

Bernita Marais

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has renewed the call on government to ensure employees within the aviation sector be considered as essential workers during the impending Covid-19 vaccine campaign.

This call on government for the aviation industry and the need for its workers to be considered as essential when the vaccine is rolled out across the globe and that they will play a vital role in the distribution thereof. The transportation of the Covid-19 vaccines has already begun, and calculations show, it will require the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft for global distribution.  It is therefore essential that the qualified workforce is in place to ensure a functioning logistics chain.

Given the strict security provisions at airports, and the fact that many of the functions rendered by aviation logistic companies require specialized employees, it extremely difficult to find replacement labour within this field.  The IATA’s call has been aligned with the Roadmap for Prioritising Uses of Covid-19 Vaccines by the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (Sage).

The AGM has also reiterated the vital role of air transport in facilitating the global response to the pandemic, including the timely distribution of medicines, testing kits, protective equipment and eventually vaccines.

Logistics

Stop AARTO Now, says the Road Freight Association

SCN Africa

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The Road Freight Association (RFA) is shocked and deeply concerned about the recent suspension of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Japh Chuwe, amidst allegations of “serious maladministration” by the Auditor-General. This has a severe impact on the implementation of the highly controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO), which is scheduled to be implemented in July this year.

Whilst we welcome the uncovering of corruption, it would be irresponsible and reckless for Government to proceed with the implementation of AARTO. The RFA has over the years expressed concern and uneasiness about AARTO and its susceptibility to fraud, corruption, and money laundering. The RTIA’s latest announcement is confirmation of our worst fears.

Once AARTO is implemented, the RTIA will be handling Billions of Rand. How can we now trust the entity – especially when the dishonesty and corruption is allegedly at the highest level in the Agency? We already face huge corruption, extorsion and intimidation at the hands of traffic police on a daily basis and this latest development has highlighted how rampant dishonesty is in the public service – especially in the traffic law enforcement and management structures. These allegations have undermined what little faith we had in RTIA. If the system is implemented, we envisage theft on a grand scale.

The RFA once again proposes that AARTO be shelved. The continuously amended system is all about generating revenue and not at all about road safety, which was what the system was originally about. Huge administrative resources will be required to implement and sustain an antiquated and cumbersome system, putting additional burdens on already-overburdened government authorities and the private sector.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) – another Agency of the Department of Transport – already costs motorists hundreds of millions of Rand per annum through the levy imposed on all eNatis transactions. This was supposed to be a temporary measure to get the RTMC on its feet. Like all other levies,  this has become permanent with no added value to citizens. The RTMC needs to step up and do its job, that is, to manage road traffic according to proper traffic management strategies with effective centralised road safety interventions and operational management.

The RFA believes that proper traffic management strategies which focus resources to address hazardous locations and other aspects of unsafe road behaviour would be far more effective in improving road safety – rather than the current cumbersome AARTO system being proposed.

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Logistics

Being Bold During A Pandemic

Bernita Marais

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Despite the blatant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the truck industry, there are allot of smiles at Mercedes-Benz trucks.  The brand of Daimler Truck & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) has achieved leadership position in the Heavy-Duty Truck (HDT) segment in 2020.

Maretha Gerber, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks said they have made bold moves last year during the tough times everyone was facing, and the results are starting to show.  It could not have been possible without the dedication and resilience demonstrated by the internal staff and dealer partners to excel, collaborate, adjust, and push through everything that was thrown at them.

Everyone will agree that 2020 was a tough year for companies and the entire trucking industry, and Mercedes is humbled to celebrate this success.  This would not have been possible without their customers and the continued trust they have paced on the brand while working tirelessly, across different industries, under unique operating conditions.

Looking at the start of 2021 the trucking industry continues to weather the Covid-19 storm and the Mercedes-Benz brand remains determined to deliver uninterrupted sales and service to all customers across South Africa and continue to live up to the brand’s promise of “Trucks you can Trust”.

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Transport

COVID-19 Travel App Passport: The rollout on a new initiative

Bernita Marais

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To restart the international aviation sector and re-open boarders without having individuals having to quarantine the government needs to be confident that they are able to effectively mitigate the risk importing COVID-19.

Passengers will be informed on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require before traveling as well as details on where they can get tested, while giving them the ability to share their test and vaccinations results in a verifiable, safe and private manner while giving government the confidence to open borders.

The idea is that once the vaccine is widely available, a passport would be issued to the individuals that have been vaccinated to allow them to move freely, both locally and globally, by allowing access to indoor restaurants, movie theaters, and international travel.

Emirates will implement phase 1 in Dubai for the validation before departing.  In this initial phase, expected to begin in April, Emirates customers traveling from Dubai will be able to share their Covi-19 test status directly with the airline even before reaching the airport through a app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.

This platform will also enable authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passenger.

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