Third Edition 28th February 2009 Greetings Most if not all of us are settled, in with the memories of the festive season rapidly fading if not forgotten, as the reality of survival sets in. Bankers eagerly await your contribution to their profits courtesy festive splurge and high interest rates. Welcome to 2009 members of the towing fraternity, friends and associates. Economic Meltdown Interest rates in the first world plummeted; cash strapped South Africans waited with bated breath for the announcement by the reserve bank governor on December 10th 2008 only to get a meager 1% reduction in interest rates. Jabulani’s aged uncle’s comments regarding the announcement and the paper on which it was written echoed, I suspect, the sentiments of most South Africans and I concurred but with a different perspective in that it would save the Reserve Bank toilet paper. Sadly there is an international slow down in growth and inhabitants of this part of the globe cannot escape the consequences thereof. Oil prices have declined with temporary positive spinoffs for the South African motorist and businesses reliant on fuel. There have been calls from consumer bodies for the prices of taxi and bus fares to come down; fortunately no attention was drawn to the towing fraternity. This does not mean though that we have escaped the attention of our business partners. Reality there are many towing companies charging exorbitant release fees that can in no way be justified and are getting away with this. The unfortunate consequence of this will in future be the lobbying for government regulation by role players in the motor industry. In this tough economic climate we should be cooperating with all role players in containing costs and where savings are realized passing this on to consumers. We are at the end of the day part of a global village and what happens at one end has a knock on effect. Elections 2009 elections?? Who wins, who loses?? Actually does it really matter?? As long as we get responsible and accountable government that is what really matters. There has been a tendency to refuse to take responsibility, inactivity in certain fields and fear of executing authority. Let us hope that the next government will cope (No pun intended). Storage & Related Fees Can someone enlighten the uninformed as to the formula applied in setting these rates? Are we paying above the national average for rental or purchasing property at thrice the national average?? Secure car parking at airports and other comparative facilities are absolute bargains in comparison. Rates on security, does Spotty have a personal butler serving pedigree, meaty bones (sorry lamb chops) and brushing his/her fur while enjoying a meal?? What about Admin Charges?? Come on guys let’s play by the rules and change the image of this industry. It will not help having a spokesperson engaging in television interviews and radio talk shows etc. justifying and trying to condition the public to accepting “market related rates” when there are companies hell bent on ripping off the public. The time is coming and soon when all associations will have to work together in sorting out the rogue companies. Association hopping will then not help as information will be shared and reasons for leaving will be followed up. We have to clean up our act. There are companies committed to improving the image of the industry and delivering a fair but profitable service, and UTASA commends these. Road ShowNewly elected UTASA executive committee members will be hitting the road starting in Kwazulu Natal where they will have meetings and interact with members. By the time you receive this they may have already visited Kwazulu Natal. All concerns and issues pertaining to the respective provinces will be discussed and addressed at these forums. From Kwazulu the nextprovince will be the Eastern Cape then Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Free State, Northern Cape and finally Western Cape. You elected them so enjoy their company, show your hospitality and engage them in whatever issues are relevant to your area. They will appreciate the education imparted by you regarding your province. Jabulani’s Uncle I promise to make it a point not to engage this elderly “gentleman” in conversation regarding politics or the economy. Much of his advice as to what the politicians, economist and bankers should do to themselves may not be published here. One would rather buy him a cartoon of “shake shake” sorghum beer, packet of tobacco sit with him on the stoep and watch as he admires the passing bevy of beauties reflecting on the fact that what this old sage admires his body can never entertain.Sorry guys Jabu’s uncle has conked out have to put him to bed catch you in our next edition bye!