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The Prizefighter is off the canvas, albeit still groggy.

The World was sucker-punched at the end of the first quarter of 2020, with trade and industry literally being stopped in its tracks. Felled by a single blow from a fellow who fights under the banner of “COVID-19”. No one really seems to know where he trained, grew up or how he managed to get the World’s attention the way he did, but his blows have rained down on humanity in an unprecedented fashion. Only time will tell if we rated him too highly or not but for a time we were floored. Reeling from his blows, we didn’t know where he would strike next and as such, went into a defensive huddle. Ultimately, the only defence that has any chance of long term success is attack, and we are up on one knee, determined to not only beat the count but to recover from the low blow, stronger than ever before. We certainly have the support of the crowd!

It can never be said that the Government Gazette makes for fun reading. However, the breaking news to which we woke up to this morning, is cause for a huge celebration. Under Level 4 lockdown regulations, the Minister of Trade and Industries, Ebrahim Patel, has announced that members of the Motor Industry, and related parties, can once again open their doors for business. For the purpose of this communication, “Motor Industry” refers to trucks, cars, motorcycles, trailers, caravans, buses and agricultural equipment – both new and used. The rules cover all aspects of selling (wholesale and retail, imports/exports and financial aspects), and the full range of vehicle support.

ZA Bikers is obviously chuffed at any return to normality and, in particular, with the reopening of our beloved motorcycles industry.

As you might expect, the Government has laid down some conditions. Here’s a quick run-down:

Phase 1 – which has now started:

  1. Dealerships can open their doors with 30% of their normal staff complement subject to 9 Sq. Metres of floor space per employee. Small businesses can operate with a minimum of 5 employees.
  2. Sales, wherever possible, should be done remotely via the internet, e-commerce or telephone. Personal contact should be kept to a minimum, be by appointment and appropriate social distancing and COVID control rules should be applied, eg. Sanitising, masks etc… should be worn.
  3. Test drives by appointment only.
  4. Home delivery of vehicles.
  5. Where possible, electronic or virtual signatures to be used for documentation.
  6. Auctions will be conducted online.

Phase 2 – TBC:

60% of staff allowed. Limited customers will be allowed to enter the dealerships. Remote vehicle sales will continue

Phase 3 from June 8th 2020:

Dealerships will have 100% of their staff back at work under various COVID Regulations.

The rest of the regs go into the detail of how to apply sanitisation measures, social distancing and general health procedures, which need to be put in place and adhered to. Peripheral services to the motor industry such as Roadworthy Centres and so on will also be allowed to operate.

I am not going to go into minute detail as laid out in the Gazette, as I am sure that will be reported far and wide in the general media. We just want to be the first to stand on the rooftops and shout a huge “Hurrah” and give a double thumbs up for the first really good news for our industry. The motorcycle industry is by no means out of the woods yet and we know that there have already been major losses – yet we live in hope of better days to come. We will rise from the canvas, shake our heads and fight back. That is who we are and what we do.

We wish you all well as you pick up the pieces. Just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all in these trying times.

Herewith all the information as published in the Government Gazette.

My name is Dave Cilliers. I consider cars as four wheeled shopping baskets and only worth using as a last resort! For years bikes have been my primary transport. Racing, touring, commuting or just kicking up dust on African tracks, I have owned over 270 motorcycles and ridden millions of kilometres. I am happiest when sharing my passion for motorcycles with like minded people whilst traversing Africa in search of adventure.