The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) recently destroyed R80-million worth of “non-conforming automotive friction materials” at its destruction site in Midrand.
The automotive parts destroyed included brake pads, brake shoes, headlamps, globes, foam tyre cleaners, and infant car seats.
Only 10% of the products scheduled for demolition were destroyed on the day, with the balance to be disposed of over a period of three weeks.
The destruction process was carried out with a crushing baler, hammering, cutting, chemical processing, dumping into landfill sites, and recycling where possible.
“We are pleased to see progress and for the first time in many years a public display of non-conforming product destruction,” said Vishal Premlall, national director of the South African Petroleum Retailers’ Association.
“Now we need a database of the conforming products as a starting reference for the consumer, because the continued trade in inferior products impacts the safety of road users.”
Premlall said that a collaboration between the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) and the Automotive Friction Material Industry (AFMI) has been ongoing over a long period, but often led to “frustrating results for the parties involved.”
“The project seemed to lack momentum by the regulatory and compliance bodies, despite the fact that the growth of brands of friction material over the past two decades has been exponential.”
The most concerning element is that there has thus far “been no means to confirm the quality and validity of these products in the local marketplace.”
However, the RMI will now partner with the relevant stakeholders to expose non-compliant products and hold perpetrators to account, said Premlall.
“To further this agenda, the RMI will take discussions to heightened levels at the NRCS and ensure that products entering the automotive market are safe and of acceptable manufacturing standards.”