Saturday, July 2, 2022

Durban floods stall car import business in Botswana

The recent heavy floods that stormed Kwazulu-Natal province (KZN) in South Africa have left local car import business with no choice but to halt operation.

Local car importers have for many years been sourcing their ordered vehicles from Durban in the KZN province.

The Managing Director of Episkopos car importers in Mogoditshane Oreeditse Kgotla told this publication that the situation has greatly affected his business given that he had placed orders to source client’s vehicles.

“The business has been affected because orders which were supposed to be processed have been halted due to the aftershocks of heavy floods in the province,” said Kgotla.

He further said as a result of heavy floods in South Africa, some of their clients have cancelled their orders until the situation improves.

Kgotla highlighted that he has been trying to engage all those who had placed orders to be patient as they are still monitoring the situation.

“We continuously engage garages which we buy cars from so that we are able to monitor the situation and I must say the communication has been good because they are also using different platforms to update us,”

“They have informed us that they have halted the operation of their trucks until the situation has normalized,” added Kgotla.

He said it is still early to think of alternative routes through which they can transport their ordered cars adding that moving around Durban is still a challenge.

For his part, Reaobaka Ramagala of Mid Capricorn motor sales said the situation has caused delay in transporting the ordered cars to Botswana.

Ramagala said he is left with no choice but to patient stating that it is currently difficult to make clients understand the delay.

“We have already collected at least 80% percentage from clients and now to tell them about what is currently happening is a big task because they are expecting their cars to be in the country,” added Ramagala.

He further said all possible routes are shut thus making it impossible to transport vehicles across the borders.

On the other hand, Moagi Sebonego of High level cars said some of his clients are already demanding their deposit back.

“I am already struggling to deal with clients because they call every single day demanding their deposit back because some are of the view that they can easily get available cars around,”

“We can only remain patient because what has happened in KZN is a natural disaster and no one expected this turn of events,” said Sebonego.

He also said his business has been trying to recover from COVID-19 but this turn of events are bound to set him back.

Sebonego also said he has also been informed that the situation is likely to be restored soon as plans are underway to transport the cars.

It has been reported that KwaZulu-Natal this week started counting the cost of the damage caused by heavy downpours. 

Big businesses in the province have not been spared the ravages of the floods, and again face operational and supply-chain disruptions less than nine months after last July’s riots took their toll.

André Oberholzer, group head of corporate affairs at Sappi, said on Wednesday that the paper giant’s operations had been disrupted by road closures.

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