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Our operations in KwaZulu-Natal have been affected by the riots and looting, and we are forced to ground our fleet until further notice.

DEAR Editor;

The events of the past few days are shocking, saddening and concerning. We mourn the loss of innocent lives and we share the pain of the thousands of people whose businesses and livelihoods have been destroyed by the senseless acts which have occurred. Families impacted and communities decimated.

Our operations in KwaZulu-Natal have been affected by the riots and looting, and we are forced to ground our fleet until further notice. It is necessitated for two reasons. It is near impossible for any vehicles to effectively move around certain areas within the province and, most importantly, the safety of our staff and of our partners. We place utmost value on our members and customers but prevailing conditions have severely impaired route access as well as fuel supplies in various areas of the KZN region.

The Automobile Association (AA) has deep roots in South Africa having started operations here in 1930. When we see scenes such as those which played out the past three days in our beautiful country we are beyond dismayed. The actions of the looters and rioters – criminals to be sure – has caused an immediate negative impact with the value of our currency taking a beating. The longer-term effects of these actions will be felt in months to come.

Political considerations of any nature cannot inform this leadership at a time such as this, the well-being of the people of South Africa must be foremost in making tough decisions.

I want to assure all our staff, members, partners, suppliers and the South African community of our continued commitment to ensuring we provide quality services while at the same time remaining responsible in the current environment.

While the events of the past few days are dismaying, I want to highlight again the courage and unity which has been displayed in many areas by ordinary South Africans from every walk of life who have stood together as communities. Recent events, such as how we stood together as South Africans to curtail the effects of Covid-19, demonstrate the power of communities coming together. Being there for one another is, I believe, the true South African nature, and more than anything demonstrates what South Africa is all about.

I believe the troubles we are facing now will pass and that a brighter, better future awaits us all.

Willem Groenewald
Automobile Association of South Africa


Article written by: Willem Groenewald

Photo credit: South Coast Herald

Link: https://southcoastherald.co.za/440944/opinion-open-letter-from-the-ceo-of-the-automobile-association-willem-groenewald/

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