Minister wants to halt cheap car imports

Minister wants to halt cheap car imports

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THE time for Basotho to import ultra-cheap second-hand vehicles from Japan might be coming to an end if Trade Minister Joshua Setipa gets his way.

Setipa told reporters this week that by the end of next month the government will put stringent controls on the importation of second-hand vehicles.

His gripe is that Lesotho has become a convenient dumping ground for vehicles that are not roadworthy.

Such vehicles deemed unfit for roads in their counties of origin are being flung Lesotho’s way through giveaway prices, Setipa said.

The result, he said, is an upsurge in road accidents.

“We are working towards decreasing the rate at which import cars get into this country, we are not saying Basotho should not buy cars because that will be inhibiting their development.

“However, we are saying they should buy cars that are in good condition and not cars that kill Basotho,” Setipa said.

“These are cars currently being imported and sold for US$900 or $1000. Even in the respective countries where they come from they have been deemed to be not roadworthy hence they cause a lot of accidents here.”

He added that some of the cars are being used as school taxis and endanger the lives of the children.

“It is not cars only but also the tires that we see being sold along the roads.  They are no longer in a condition fit for a car on the road,” he said.

“With this initiative we are saying Basotho lives are worth just like the lives of those who sell these cars to Basotho. The rate at which accidents happen indicate that something should be done. Those countries will provide a certificate showing that the cars that are to be imported are roadworthy and not cars at the brink of expiry.”

He added that they are giving those in the business until the end of July to get their act together before the new laws or policies become fully operational.

Setipa said the operation to decrease imported cars will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Roads and Transport.

 

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