Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure.
If the reduced fuel levy encourages you to hit the road this April, don’t be complacent when it comes to your safety
Old Mutual Insure has welcomed the announcement by government that it will lower the fuel levy by R1.50 per litre until end of May. The levy for petrol will be reduced from R3.85 per litre to R2.35 per litre. Diesel will cost R2.20 per litre instead of R3.70 per litre.
“It is likely that this good news will see an increase in road users over the upcoming Easter break, with many consumers wanting to make the most of the public holidays this month by going on a mini break, or visiting friends and family,” says Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure.
Mnguni adds that the jury is still out on whether this good news will be dampened by large hikes in the petrol price.
“Traditionally Easter is a time of peak traffic. Now that the COVID-19 restrictions are currently at the most relaxed point than what they have been since the onset of the pandemic, and with the added encouragement of a reduced fuel levy, we may see more motorists on our roads this April than expected,” says Mnguni.
However, he warns that there is a reason why there are numerous road safety campaigns targeting road users at this time of the year.
“There is added danger on the roads because of the increase in traffic, but this can be significantly reduced if motorists take the necessary steps to look after their safety before they travel, like checking that tyre treads are not worn out, and that cars are in a good roadworthy condition,” he says.
Before heading off on that long-anticipated break, Mnguni says that vehicle owners should also check that their insurance policies have basic roadside and other emergency assistance.
“Breaking down or being involved in an accident in the middle of nowhere where you don’t know who to trust or which service or emergency providers is traumatic,” says Mnguni.
He says that holiday safety doesn’t just translate to being safe on the road, but it also extends to home and security awareness.
If you are taking advantage of all of the public holidays – and the reduced fuel levy – this April by travelling, follow Mnguni’s top motor and home safety tips:
- Be sure that the vehicle you are travelling in has been properly maintained. Plan a service ahead of a long trip. Failing a full service, at least check tyres, oil, battery and fuel before setting off.
- Check that your alarms and electric fences are in good working order, and that and that security company payments are up to date. Have key exterior lights on day-night switches as well as a few strategic interior lights on timers.
- Have all your emergency and insurance details with you – ideally in your phone – before setting off.
- Switch off your geyser and water mains before you leave to prevent any damage from a burst geyser, leaking pipes or pressure surges in your absence.
- In an environment of heightened crime with criminals actively trawling social media sites to gain information about potential victims, don’t advertise your trip. It’s not a good idea that everyone knows you will be away for Easter.
- Before travelling, it is also important to make sure your insurance premiums are up to date. At a minimum, homeowners should have a basic homeowners policy, covering the home for loss from burglary, fire, water and other damage while away.