Business Unity South Africa (Busa) is requesting Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to urgently review applicable regulations that make it illegal to transport high-cube shipping containers on South African roads.
High-cube containers are the same length (12.19 m) and width (2.44 m) as a standard shipping container, but are 30 cm taller (at 2.89 m), adding 9.7 m3 of internal space when compared to a 66.5 m3 standard container.
Busa argues that high-cube containers constitute the overwhelming majority of containers currently manufactured and transported internationally, including in neighbouring States.
However, the organisation points out that the combined height of a vehicle transporting a high-cube container is currently 4.6 m – 300 mm above the legal limit.
In this regard, Busa requests Mbalula to urgently review Regulation 224 (b) of the National Road Traffic Act that currently prohibits the transportation on South African roads of high-cube containers.
“Despite several years of industry engaging the Department of Transport on the matter, as well as moratoriums being issued, no progress has yet been forthcoming on fundamentally resolving the issue,” Busa says in a January 19 statement.
“This regulatory anomaly puts South Africa’s trade and logistics regime out of step with international and regional realities and undermines the ease of doing business,” the organisation adds.
Busa says that, in light of South Africa’s suboptimal levels of economic growth, investment and employment, the country cannot afford such costly and time-consuming regulation of a sector so critical to the operations of a modern economy.