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5 important things that happened in South Africa’s car industry this week

These were the five biggest stories in South Africa’s transport industry this week.

E-tolls are dead – Here’s what the gantries will now be used for

Gauteng’s e-toll gantries will no longer be used to charge motorists, but they will remain operational.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga confirmed this week that they will be used for “crime prevention” – though it was not explained how this would be done.

The e-toll system has been mired in confusion over the last few weeks regarding its shutdown process and what will be done about defaulting road users, who may still be on the hook for their bills.

Facelifted Honda Ballade launched in South Africa

Honda released the updated version of the Ballade this week, adding new features and styling details to the sedan.

The Ballade is now available in three specifications with a new starting price of R389,900.

All three versions, including the flagship RS, are equipped with a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated engine with 89kW and 145Nm.

4 new GWM cars are launching in South Africa this year

GWM made big news this week with the announcement that four new vehicles from its various stables will arrive in South Africa this year.

Haval is getting the updated Jolion crossover, as well as the new H7 SUV, which will take pole position in the brand’s line-up.

The Tank 300’s larger sibling, the 500, is also coming, and the P-Series of bakkies is getting a new flagship called the P500.

65 cars are hijacked in South Africa per day – The most affected areas

The South African Police Services (SAPS) have revealed the latest crime statistics for all nine provinces, showing a concerning increase in the number of carjackings.

Carjackings rose by 365 cases in the third quarter of the 2023/2024 period, resulting in 5,973 incidents between October and December last year – or roughly 65 per day.

The SAPS published a list of the 10 most affected areas in each province, and Gauteng and the Western Cape were shown to be the most plagued by this type of crime.

You can now get a degree in fixing potholes in South Africa

Discovery Insure and Avis have launched a new programme providing training to individuals to fix potholes.

Known as the Pothole Patrol Training Academy (PPTA), it involves a 12-month practical skills course that awards an NQF Level 3 qualification upon completion.

Currently enrolled in the course are 24 new students from previously disadvantaged communities, and one individual who completed the course last year has already started his own business in KwaZulu-Natal.

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