Clamp down on car im­ports

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Bereng Mpaki


THE gov­ern­ment will in Au­gust im­pose new ve­hi­cle im­port­ing re­quir re­quire­ments to stem the in­flux of un­road­wor­thy sec­ond-handse cars. Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence­con yes­ter­day, Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­terMini Joshua Setipa said ve­hi­cle im­porters wouldw need to ob­tain cer­tifi­cates of roadw road­wor­thi­ness from ex­port­ing coun­trie coun­tries be­fore they can come to Les Le­sotho. He said the used ve­hi­cles had resu re­sulted in traf­fic jams in ur­ban cen­tres and also caused ac­ci­dents since some o of them were not roadwo road­wor­thy. “W “We want to en­sure that o only road­wor­thy ve­hi­cles in their coun­tries of or ori­gin will be al­lowed into Le­sotho,” Mr Setipa said. “For ev­ery im­port p per­mit we will iss sue, it should be ac­com­pa­nied by a cer­tifi­cate of road­wor­thi­ness of the ve­hi­cle from the ex­port­ing coun­try. Be­fore the ve­hi­cle leaves the coun­try of ori­gin it must have that cer­tifi­cate.”

He said the grey im­ports were be­hind many ac­ci­dents, adding that worn-out tyres were also partly to blame for the high num­ber of road fa­tal­i­ties.

“Our fail­ure to man­age this sit­u­a­tion will lead to more deadly ac­ci­dents of which there are in­di­ca­tions they are al­ready hap­pen­ing. Added to that, the ve­hi­cles are caus­ing a lot of traf­fic con­ges­tion on our roads,” said Mr Setipa.

“The worn out sec­ond-hand tyres that are cut with hot blades to make them look new are also killing our peo­ple. As the gov­ern­ment, we have a have a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity to our peo­ple to bring that to an end.”

He said the gov­ern­ment had to bal­ance be­tween en­abling the ma­jor­ity of Ba­sotho who can­not af­ford to buy brand new cars and en­sur­ing their safety in those ve­hi­cles.

“The most im­por­tant thing I must em­pha­sise is that we are not try­ing to in­hibit Ba­sotho from get­ting im­ported ve­hi­cles, but to save the lives of our peo­ple from need­less ac­ci­dents.

“The fact of the mat­ter is that Le­sotho has been turned into dump­ing site for ve­hi­cles that are not road­wor­thy and that must come to an end,” Mr Setipa said.

The cars they were con­cerned about were sold for very low prices and mostly em­anated from such coun­tries as Sin­ga­pore, China and Ja­pan.

“Ev­ery Mosotho has the right to be as­sisted to buy a ve­hi­cle, and as the gov­ern­ment, we have no in­ten­tion of pro­hibit­ing that. What we are against is the sale of some of these ve­hi­cles for as lit­tle as US$900 which have been on the road for 24 years and not road wor­thy in their coun­tries of ori­gin.”

The min­is­ter added that no new re­quire­ments would be im­posed on sec­ond-hand ve­hi­cles that were al­ready in the coun­try.

Used-ve­hi­cle im­porters who spoke to the Le­sotho Times yes­ter­day said the new re­quire­ments would push up grey car prices.

Mean­while, Mr Setipa said min­istry of­fi­cials and the po­lice would soon em­bark on a cam­paign to en­sure that traders’ li­censes were not be­ing abused.

He said it had come to their at­ten­tion that some Ba­sotho were ap­ply­ing for li­censes so they can lease them to for­eign busi­ness­peo­ple.

Mr Setipa said cer­tain busi­nesses were only re­served for Ba­sotho, adding that leas­ing them to the for­eign­ers was against the law.

Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa.

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