Quarry Southern Africa May 2017 - Page 15

business I t has been nearly a quarter of a century since the Department of Transport in South Africa introduced the National Traffic Information System (Natis) in 1993 as the official register for all vehicle, driving licence, contravention and accident data. Ten years ago, in April 2007 an electronic version of the system – eNatis – was officially launched. This year will see another milestone relating to vehicle registration come to pass, although this time it is not for vehicles that travel on our roads. In South Africa, at least 50 000 moveable assets worth around R40-billion are financed over a calendar year, most without records. While this includes all assets — from generators to pleasure craft — the majority is equipment used on mines, quarries and construction sites. The Southern Africa Movable Asset Register (SAMAR) was designed to address this problem. Following the introduction of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No. 93 of 1996), however, vehicles that are not designed for public road use and cannot legally be roadworthied, may no longer be registered on eNatis. Since banks used the title on eNatis registration documents as confirmation of their interest in the financed assets, removing certain asset classes created a problem, as it effectively withdrew the application of the title administered through the system. There is also the fact that many equipment owners who purchased their vehicles prior to the change in legislation are unaware that their asset is no longer legally registered on eNatis. According to Kyle Dutton, project manager for SAMAR, investigations into several instances of disputed asset ownership resulted in a decision reinforcing the fact that any vehicle that could not be roadworthy could not be legally registered on eNatis. “This is largely a safety issue, as many of these vehicles do not have indicators or brake lights, for example,” he explains, “but a lot of yellow metal equipment — bulldozers, excavators and mining equipmen t — that doesn’t fit the roadworthy specs but had previously been allowed on eNatis was no longer permitted to be registered on the system. This meant that the banks no longer had a registry of these assets.” In 2010, the banks approached the founders of SAMAR to determine the feasibility of replicating the eNatis system for non- roadworthy moveable assets. Despite quite a lot of work being done on the project, including the start of vehicle registration, the banks withdrew from the idea a year later and the project was shelved until 2014 when they decided to go ahead. According to Dutton, one of the major problems facing the banks was double dipping in financing. A person would apply for a commercial loan from one bank and a personal loan from another, for example, to finance the same 40 forklifts. Borrowers would receive twice the money required and then disappear with the extra, leaving the banks to fight in court over who actually owned the assets. The lack of any formal registry also resulted in banks literally engraving their names or marks on the assets that they had financed, for example, to try and keep track of them — even this was not always sufficient. SAMAR aims to address these issues by providing an easily accessible registry of moveable assets that lists title holder and owner for each asset. Each registered asset will be issued with a unique number and marked. “We’ve devised a label that can be applied to any asset. It’s completely UV resistant and temperature resistant to 200°C. If you try pull it off it will leave the barcode behind,” says Dutton. Although many assets are already registered on SAMAR, many of them were added before the label was created and are labelled retroactively. How it works After receiving the go-ahead from the banks, SAMAR approached the manufacturers, importers and builders (MIBs) to explain the concept of the register and ask whether they could load their equipment onto the register at source when it is manufactured or enters the country. Since the purpose of SAMAR is to provide a history of the lifecycle of an asset, registering it as early in the lifecycle as possible would obviously provide more complete data. At the time of this interview, Babcock was the only OEM involved with SAMAR on a large QUARRY SA | MAY 2017 _ 13