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Dunlop is one of the most iconic and recognisable tyre brands in the world, with an unbroken history going back over 120 years.

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Dunlop embraces safety, charity and motorcycles at the 2017 SA Bike Festival


For the second year running, Dunlop is again a proud part-sponsor of the South Africa Bike Festival, taking place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Gauteng, from Friday 26 May to Sunday 28 May 2017. The three-day entertainment festival, hosted by UK-based event organisers Clarion Events, is touted as SA’s premier motorcycle event, and is set to once again attract an anticipated 20 000 spectators for the duration of it’s action-packed lineup.

Once simply a rebel-branded category reserved for daredevils and fanatics, motorcycling has morphed into a highly competitive class of sport that embraces safety and has gained appeal with biking enthusiasts and the broader public alike. “Biking culture is no longer the stuff of extremists – over time, it has permeated society and is a big part of youth culture at large – whether or not one owns a motorcycle. In recognising this, we have made the decision to continue our support of this event and once again look forward to being part of one of SA’s biggest biking festivals,” says Yvette Govender, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, parent company to Dunlop South Africa.

Dunlop remains a favourite in the motorcycle fraternity - as is evident with pro-racer and globally ranked Brad Binder– and the company is a proud manufacturer of high-endurance motorcycle tyres. “Quality and safety on the road are the key fundamentals that underpin our manufacturing processes, and we believe that this ethos of safety will be continued through events such as the SA Bike Festival, which promote safe biking within a controlled environment,” continued Govender.

This year, Dunlop has furthered its support of the show, by securing a position as the official Sunday Charity Ride Sponsor. Last year boasted more than 1100 motorcycles, raising over R41 000!?The beneficiary this year, Ride for a Reason – CLAW has expressed their gratitude for Dunlop’s support. Visitors at the event can also expect to see Dunlop in prime position in the main Expo Hall, which features it’s current promotion, #DunlopWinASuzuki – purchase any motorcycle tyres to the value of R1200 or more, and you could win a sporty Suzuki GSXR 750 worth R155 000.00! Free tyre checks, fun gaming interactivity and more can be expected from Dunlop from 26-28 May at the SA Bike Festival. Read more about this exhilarating event by visiting

2016

Dunlop launches programme to empower Township Tyre Trade


Heeding government’s call for radical economic transformation, Sumitomo Rubber SA (Pty) Ltd has launched the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme to empower township entrepreneurs through employment creation, skills transfer and training.

Although Dunlop – Sumitomo Rubber SA’s iconic brand - has for the past five years proactively employed its depth of heritage and experience to unlock small business ownership in the informal sector, the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme was officially unveiled at the 2017 NAACAM Show in Durban as a transformational catalyst to create and grow township tyre traders.

The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa (NAACAM) Show is a platform from which to grow the automotive component and related manufacturing sectors in South Africa, and the first trade show was held this week at the Durban ICC from 5-7 April.

Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber SA, said the company took a stance in 2012 to pursue this programme and saw the role that they could play in economic inclusion by working with government to accelerate transformation, thus helping to alleviate the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Dunlop branded containers are transformed into tyre fitment centres and provide opportunities for unemployed youth and women to be trained and mentored in tyre sales and repair. “By fostering greater entrepreneurial activity in townships and informal areas, the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme encourages self-employment and stimulates job creation,” he explained.

He said the company had noticed there were many informal tyre businesses in the townships operating at the roadside and some were operated out of containers. However, such businesses had little access to reputable tyre manufacturers although there was a market for professional tyre services. Meanwhile, second-hand tyres and even re-grooved tyres were in high demand.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we saw it as our role to make safe and high quality products available to this market and took the gap,” Haffejee said.

He said the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme was the first of its kind in the tyre market, and has been a key focus area in Dunlop’s distribution channel growth strategy.

Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber SA shared the evolution of the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme.

He is flanked by container owners that are successfully trading as a result of the programme.

“With the support of a widely recognised brand, the container programme has already enjoyed exponential growth and success in the tyre market,” he said, adding that the Dunlop Enterprise Development Programme was initiated to develop micro-entrepreneurs trading within or serving marginalized communities. The programme also provides branding, tyre training, mentorship and marketing support to container owners and their staff.

“The informal economy is not disconnected from the first or formal economy, but functions according to different entrepreneurial rules. We have acknowledged this, and can demonstrate that through proper skills transfer and training, township tyre traders can run profitable and sustainable enterprises that offer stable self-employment and sustainable livelihoods,” Haffejee highlighted.

Since inception, 83 Dunlop container tyre outlets have been established in townships throughout South Africa, 17 of which are based in KwaZulu-Natal. To date, more than R50 million worth of tyres have been sold from township container outlets.

“We are proud to have partnered with several local and provincial government bodies to help realise these opportunities in the marketplace,” said Haffejee.

Haffejee was grateful to eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support Unit for assistance given to the container tyre traders to set up their businesses, including access to services such as electricity. This unit had also provided traders with training in various business processes such as procurement.

Dunlop’s partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Small Business Growth Enterprise’s (SBGE) Township and Rural Revitalisation Programme has created employment for unemployed graduates in and around KZN province. So far, grants totaling R4.1 million have been allocated for the supply, branding and fitment of containers, including start-up stock, with the first two container businesses being award in November 2016 in the Estcourt and Ladysmith regions. Technical tyre training and business mentorship will also be provided jointly by Sumitomo Rubber SA and SBGE.

Speaking at the opening plenary of the Naacam Show, eThekwini Mayor Her Worship Mayor, Councillor Zandile Gumede made special mention of Dunlop’s efforts. “The mentorship offered by Dunlop to the SMME’s in this programme is to be commended. This programme is not another opportunity without support,” she said.

The KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala delivered a keynote address to the guests at the launch event, lauding the tyre manufacturers efforts. “ When we talk about radical economic transformation, we are talking about programmes like this. True transformation can only take place when previously disadvantaged individuals are given access to more economic opportunities that allow them to participate in the mainstream of the economy,” he said.

As testament to the value that the programme has imparted to her, Smangele Dladla, container owner of Stormza Tyres in Ntuzuma spoke at the launch event. “For five years, I was a vendor selling food on the roadside. Today, I have my own business and employ two staff members,” she said. “Since becoming a Dunlop tyre trader, my business has really taken off and I am proud to be offering top-class service with an established brand behind me.”

“I am thankful to Dunlop for its faith in supporting me to enter a male-dominated industry,” she said.

2016

Dunlop’s Vantrek V1 white wall tyre inspires SA taxi industry’s trust


Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA) is pleased to announce the launch of its new range of Dunlop tyres – the Vantrek V1 White Wall tyre, officially available from all Dunlop retail channels including Dunlop Zones, Dunlop Express, Dunlop Container and other major retailers from 1 December 2016.

This is a range of tyre products developed specifically for the South African taxi industry, - a previously untapped market for Dunlop in SA.

Marketed with the bold position “Ungalethemba” – which in Zulu refers to something in which you can put your trust– this latest addition to the Dunlop stable indeed gives taxi motorists and commuters alike some sound reasons to believe in the product.

This new tyre is pinnacled on the following features:

Safety is a key priority for the brand, and as such, the Dunlop Vantrek V1 white wall tyre caters for the needs of thousands commuting on a daily basis in SA, performing in all conditions but especially so in wet weather.

Designed to be a tyre partner that endures and provides good value across the life of the tyre, the Vantrek V1 meets the rigouros needs of taxis that cover expansives daily distances.

These tyres carry heavy loads across a number of different routes, including city centres, highways, and rural dirt roads. The product is strengthened to perform under such conditions, while withstands the impact of gravel, large stones and other hazardous objects.

The Vantrek V1 tyre embodies an aesthetic appeal that meets the vibrancy of SA’s taxi industry – from the rugged tread pattern to the distinguished white wall itself.

Product summary

  1. Sizes
    • 205/75R14C 109/107Q
    • 195R14C 106/104R
    • 195R15C 106/104R
  2. Technical Information

White wall tyres

2016

One Million injury-free hours for tyre giant's Ladysmith expansion project.


Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) – parent company to the Dunlop brand – has recently achieved one million lost time injury-free hours on their current expansion projects underway at their production plant in the industrial hub of Danskraal, Ladysmith. This is also 713 days - and counting - without a lost time accident.

Joint-venture contractors on the project, Stefanutti Stocks Building KZN/Ladysmith Construction are pleased with the milestone, citing safety as a big priority for not only themselves, but for the tyre manufacturer as well. “These lost time injury-free (LTI) hours is a notable safety milestone to have achieved, especially when one considers that we commenced construction at the site back in 2014,” said Mark Stewart, Alternate Director of Stefanutti Stocks Building KZN. “During this two year period, we have had less than 10 minor first aid cases, most of which required little more than plaster treatment,” he said.

Dunlop’s existing manufacturing plant was established in 1973. Shortly after being acquired by Japan-based investors Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the company took the decision to modernise and expand the manufacturing facility.

Construction commenced in October 2014, with phase one of the project (known as Project Sunrise), valued at a mammoth R1.1 billion. The company then announced a further R970 million in March this year (Project Southern Cross), taking their total investment in the factory upgrade and expansion to R2bn. At present, the project has employed 15 subcontractors, with an excess of 350 combined workers on site.

SRSA’s CEO, Riaz Haffejee, said that this achievement was a reflection of the commitment by all contractors to one of SRSA’s key priorities – safety. “At SRSA, safety comes first, last and always - and this achievement is a wonderful proof point which resonates with our people at all levels that the importance of safety should not be underestimated,” said Haffejee.

Inherent in the project were several factors that contributed to safety risks.

Among these risks were:

  • Excavations of up to 8.5 metres deep.
  • Blasting of shale rock for foundations, floors and roads.
  • High scaffolding structures of up to 20m high, with workmen at heights to erect steelwork and sheet the roof.
  • Tilt-up construction. This involves heavy concrete lifts done by crane, where 12mx 6m x200mm thick walls sections are hoisted up.
  • Working at heights of up to 30 metres high with mixing equipment
  • Heavy construction, with designs catering for 2 ton per square metre loadings, using heavy scaffolding at high levels
  • 100,000 cubic metres of earth removal, which involved a lot of heavy vehicle movement to get factory levels
  • Operation of two tower cranes working overhead
  • Operation of nine mobile cranes erecting steel, pouring concrete and moving equipment overhead

According to Haffejee, to have zero major incidents given the magnitude of this project is worthy of commendation, given the company’s values. “It underscores a quality project team who resonate with our company’s ethos,” said Haffejee.

“Safety permeates our organization at all levels, with consumers in mind. This extends from our manufacturing and operational practices, to the engineering of durable, quality products that adhere to the highest global safety standards, right down to rigorous training programmes that are aimed at upskilling fitment experts at our retail Dunlop franchises like Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express. We hope that through such measures, that safer roads, fewer fatalities and the interests of the motorists across SA will be preserved,” concluded Haffejee.

The Stefanutti Stocks Building KZN/Ladysmith Construction JV project team was also recently awarded the 2016 Master Builders Association Award for Safety for their work on Project Sunrise. The final phase of the project, Southern Cross, is scheduled for completion July 2018.

2016

Biggest threat to road safety: second-hand tyres


Motorists using second-hand tyres are perhaps one of the biggest dangers to safety on the road.

This is according to Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa - one of the leading tyre manufacturers and parent company to Dunlop tyres in South Africa. The company has highlighted this as a serious issue worth highlighting in October, commemorated nationally in South Africa as Transport Month.

Often a more cost effective alternative to purchasing brand new tyres, second-hand or “part-worn” tyres may present a more viable option for cash-strapped motor owners to replace tyres. However, what one may regard as a financial advantage, could cost them on the road.

The contribution of poor tyre conditions to road accident statistics is alarming. In a report released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation for the period January - December 2015, it was revealed that vehicle factors contributed to 7.8% of all road fatalities, of which 78% was due to tyre-related issues such as smooth tyres and burst tyres. “The impact of second hand tyre use is a massive cause for concern and is a malady plaguing SA’s informal sector at present. Consumers may make potentially life-threatening purchase decisions when buying second-hand tyres as tread depth can be dangerously low, resulting in aquaplaning on wet roads. In addition, the buyer does not have an understanding of the tyre’s age or repair history which can be equally dangerous,” said Haffejee.

The illegal – and highly dangerous - practice of “re-grooving” tyres to create greater tread depth is one of the most common traits in second-hand tyres, and presents a considerable hazard to tyre condition. Often more prevalent in the informal sector, re-grooving constitutes the re-creation of tread depth, often done by means of a sharp object, such as a knife or screwdriver, that has been heated to melt away the rubber. Tyre aging is another less-known factor that second-hand tyre consumers do not consider. After a period of time, the strength of a tyre is compromised and becomes brittle due to environmental exposure such sunlight, ozone factors, and oxygen. Such tyres are more likely to result in weak spots which often lead to burst tyres.

Repaired tyres are also another characteristic in the second-hand tyre market, which result in weaker tyres. In many cases, adhesives like super glue is used to repair rips and tears in tyres, and sold to unsuspecting consumers – which is highly dangerous for all road users.

The acknowledgement of part-worn tyres by government highlights that this is being recognised as a serious agenda affecting road safety. Late last year, the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) informed the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Portfolio Committee that there was a national economic imperative and public interest for the formulation of a part-worn standard for second hand tyres. “Everyone remains concerned about road accidents in the country. The safety of our citizens comes first,” said Ms Joanmariae Fubbs, Committee Chairperson, in support of the concerns raised by SATMC.

Haffejee, who is also Chairperson of SATMC, said that the introduction of such standards and controls could improve the regulated sale of second hand tyres, minimise the importation of substandard tyres, and could contribute significantly in improving road safety and consumer protection. While strides have been made in this regard with the assistance of the DTI and other parties, much of the pressure to create awareness on the dangers of second hand and retreaded tyres lies with manufacturers.

Submissions have been made to National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) to formulate a part-worn standard which has been agreed to with the industry, and NRCS is now starting the regulatory process for part-worn tyres.

“At SRSA, we are committed to safety in everything we do. This permeates our organization at all levels, from manufacturing and operational practices, to the engineering of durable, quality products that adhere to the highest global safety standards, right down to rigorous training programmes that are aimed at upskilling fitment experts at our retail Dunlop franchises like Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express. We hope that safer roads, fewer fatalities and the interests of the public can be preserved through such measures,” concluded Haffejee.

2016

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