Francistown Police are fighting an endless battle against a growing number of culprits in the city who are selling dangerous retreaded tyres, posing hazards to the lives of motorists, passengers and pedestrians.
The culprits apparently buy old used tyres from individuals and then use sharp objects to re-draw the tracks on these tyres to make them appear new. Unsuspecting motorists then buy these tyres at a much cheaper price as compared to the normal prices in the shops.
┬áThe Divisional Traffic Commander North, Engemedzo Sechele, told The Telegraph that the situation is becoming worse each year. He raised fears over the illegal trade, saying that it is contributing to an increase of accidents in the region and taking lives.┬á
“The situation is very worrisome because such tyres are very hazardous to motorists, passengers and even pedestrians. These tyres are of low quality and can burst any time leading to a vehicle overturning and taking lives. Most of these culprits operate these businesses along the roads┬áin locations like Bluetown, White City and Area W locations,” he said.
Sechele further said that they have since arrested some of the suspects. He warned motorists, saying that the tyres are tempting as they appear to be new at very cheaper prices. Although Sechele could not produce any statistics of such criminal activities, he said that they are working around the clock to arrest the culprits and curb the illegal trade.
“There are lawful registered companies in countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa where such tyres are re-treaded and sold,” Sechele added.
Reached for comment, the Principal Road Transport and Safety Officer in Francistown, Keatlholetswe Kebaabetswe, said that he is aware of the dangerous trade and said that retreaded tyres are only deemed legitimate if they are produced by duly licensed organizations.
“There are a number of companies who deal in retreading old tyres and such organizations are found in countries like Zimbabwe. These tyres are then tested to see if they meet certain specifications and standards. The problem with these illegal retreaded tires is that they are not tested and their safety is not guaranteed,” he said.
Kebaabetswe said that they will have to double their efforts with the police to make sure that such culprits are brought to book.