AA plan to fix SA’s tow­ing in­dus­try

Ser­vice Char­ter out­lines four ar­eas to im­prove ser­vice

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — WR.

The Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA) last week said ser­vice stan­dards in South Africa’s tow­ing in­dus­try are de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and an­nounced a Server Char­ter in an ef­fort to get tow op­er­a­tors to lift their game.

Speak­ing along­side the AA’s in­dus­try part­ners at a me­dia brief­ing in Midrand, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s CEO, Collins Khu­malo, said the tow­ing in­dus­try has de­vel­oped an un­for­tu­nate rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing non-in­clu­sive, re­sis­tant to trans­for­ma­tion, and lack­ing customer fo­cus.

“This has been an is­sue for us for a long time and some­thing we needed to look at very closely.

“What we’re do­ing now is com­mit­ting our­selves to en­sure trans­for­ma­tion in our sec­tor, and hold not only our­selves but our part­ners accountable to the South African pub­lic through to a Ser­vice Char­ter which we will sign,” ex­plained Khu­malo.

The Ser­vice Char­ter out­lines four key ar­eas which the AA be­lieves are es­sen­tial first steps to­wards fix­ing the in­dus­try’s rep­u­ta­tion. These are:

• Al­ways be­ing avail­able to mem­bers and cus­tomers,

• En­sur­ing mem­ber and customer sat­is­fac­tion is a pri­or­ity,

• Be­ing accountable to mem­bers and cus­tomers, and,

• Valu­ing its part­ners and sup­pli­ers.

“An im­por­tant el­e­ment of how we will op­er­ate go­ing for­ward is through driv­ing trans­for­ma­tion in our in­dus­try.

“We will do this by as­sist­ing pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged tow­ing com­pa­nies with skills train­ing, de­vel­op­ment plans, and a fair and eq­ui­table al­lo­ca­tion of in­come,” said Khu­malo. He added he hoped the char­ter would in­flu­ence the tow-in in­dus­try as a whole to by com­mit to high lev­els of ser­vice and trans­parency in the way it does busi­ness.

“With this char­ter, we are en­cour­ag­ing our in­dus­try col­leagues to join us in mak­ing mean­ing­ful and sus­tain­able changes to the way we op­er­ate.

“This in­dus­try must change and we are tak­ing the first steps to en­sur­ing this hap­pens.

“It’s a move we think is to the ben­e­fit of ev­ery­one in this sec­tor but, more im­por­tantly, to the ben­e­fit of all road users in the coun­try,” Khu­malo said.

He said cus­tomers would ul­ti­mately re­ward good hon­est ser­vice. “Cus­tomers will build up the most cus­tomer­fo­cused providers and prune those who put petty profit and ego above customer and road user in­ter­ests.”

PHOTO: AR­RIVE ALIVE

Fierce com­pe­ti­tion and a lack of trans­parency have seen the wheels com­ing off South Africa’s tow­ing in­dus­try, but the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion plans to hook up op­er­a­tors with a char­ter that will fix things.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

CEO of the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion, Collins Khu­malo, signs a char­ter that aims to fix the tow­ing in­dus­try.

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