Cane spillage clam­p­down

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - FRONT PAGE - Or­rin Singh

HARSH warn­ings have been is­sued to grow­ers whose over­loaded trucks spill cane onto roads dur­ing de­liv­ery to mills, caus­ing ac­ci­dent dan­gers to mo­torists.

The South African Cane Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (SACGA) and Road Traf­fic In­spec­torate (RTI) have urged Zu­l­u­lan­ders to re­port cases of sugar cane spillage.

This af­ter a num­ber of con­cerned mo­torists raised the is­sue of large amounts of sugar cane fall­ing off over­loaded trucks within the re­gion, pos­ing a risk to road users.

With the sugar cane har­vest­ing sea­son in full swing, SA Cane Grow­ers North­ern KZN Se­nior Re­gional Man­ager, Glan­tile Mashile, said cane spillage can be an is­sue es­pe­cially if the ve­hi­cle is ‘bread loafed’.

‘This is when the cane is loaded higher than the ve­hi­cle’s sides to get in a full load.

‘There are no stan­dards for prod­uct con­tain­ment with cane, ex­cept that spillage should not oc­cur and it is the haulers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure this.’

Mashile said the four mills within the re­gion - Amatikulu, Felix­ton, Um­folozi and Pon­gola - are re­spon­si­ble for the clean­ing of the roads when there are ex­ces­sive cane spillages.

‘Road con­di­tions do con­trib­ute to cane spillage, so it would be use­ful to know where the com­plaints are com­ing from so a fo­cused in­ter­ven­tion can take place.

‘The pub­lic is there­fore en­cour­aged to no­tify lo­cal sugar cane farm­ers as­so­ci­a­tions of spillages on the road, by call­ing 031 5087201 or email­ing cen­tral@cane­grow­ers.co.za.

‘Road safety is para­mount, and it was one of the rea­sons the Road Trans­port Man­age­ment Sys­tem (RTMS) was in­tro­duced 11 years ago,’ said Mashile.

RTMS aims to re­duce over­load­ing through self-reg­u­la­tion, but also pro­vides for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem for sugar cane haulers, and ac­cord­ing to Mashile, it has achieved good re­sults

Agri­cul­tural En­gi­neer at the South African Sug­ar­cane Re­search In­sti­tute (SASRI), Dr Peter Twed­dle, agrees.

‘The track record is show­ing much bet­ter load­ing per­for­mances now com­pared to 10 years ago. There have been mas­sive gains and ben­e­fits with the use of RTMS, which at the end of the day means safer roads for South Africans,’ said Twed­dle.

Mean­while, RTI spokesper­son Zinhle Mn­gomezulu warned truck­ing com­pa­nies that they could face fines of up to R2 500 for over­load­ing.

‘It is im­por­tant that the load is se­cure and com­plies with the Na­tional Road Traf­fic Act in terms of the max­i­mum load each truck can hold.

‘As this is an is­sue that oc­curs on a daily ba­sis, it is hard for us to deal with as we can­not en­force road safety if we do not have in­for­ma­tion about the of­fend­ers.

‘The pub­lic are urged to pro­vide us with full de­tails of over­loaded trucks, the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber and the com­pany name,’ Mn­gomezulu said.

Spokesper­son for the Mthon­ja­neni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Thami Shangase, said truck­ing com­pa­nies should not ex­ceed the load­ing limit and need to stick to the limit put in place by the Depart­ment of Trans­port.

‘We will en­sure that we ask our traf­fic of­fi­cials to look into the mat­ter and mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion,’ he said.

Or­rin Singh

A typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of a truck that has been ‘bread loafed’

Cane spilled on the R34 and R56

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