Heels & Horsepower Magazine

New Interest Rate Hike Increases Pressure on Financed Vehicle Owners

Press Release: Wesbank

The recently increased repo rate, coupled with rising inflation, a deteriorating Rand, slow economy, unemployment and other global factors are creating tough living conditions for many South Africans.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has recently announced a further hike in the repo rate of 50 basis points. This is the second rise in interest rates this year, following a 25 basis points increase by the SARB’s Monetary Policy Committee at the end of January. With the repo rate now standing at 7.75% from 7.25%, the current prime lending rate shifts from 10.75% to 11.25%, its highest level since 2009.

This increase directly impacts people who are paying off loans such as vehicle finance or a home loan coupled to the interest rate, as the monthly repayment will increase. In a weak economy with slower inflation, the high cost of living and increasing food prices, many South Africans are struggling to stretch their already-strained budgets to reach month end. The new repo rate announcement puts added pressure on consumers.

“An interest rate hike has a ripple effect across all sectors of the economy. Our customers are not unaffected by this higher cost of borrowing either,” comments Lebogang Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank. “Those customers whose vehicles are financed through WesBank with a fixed interest rate, are not affected by the rate hike. However, those customers who opted for a linked rate will see their monthly car repayment increasing.”

What is a fixed interest rate versus a linked interest rate?

The interest rate affects the amount a bank or finance house such as WesBank charges you for borrowing money. The amount you need to pay back is determined by the interest rate on your finance agreement and, despite the latest increase, is still relatively low for anyone repaying a vehicle finance loan. When buying a vehicle, new or used, customers have the option to choose between a fixed or linked (variable) interest rate for their vehicle finance agreement.

As it stands, a fixed interest rate will not change for the duration of your payment period. This can work in your favour, especially if the interest rate is as volatile as is currently the case in South Africa, and you want the security of a constant fixed monthly repayment. If the rate drops. you will continue to be charged the agreed higher fixed interest rate.

A linked interest rate is linked to the prime lending rate and fluctuates with the SARB’s repo interest rate. If the rate increases, as it has recently, so will your repayment amount. However, if it is lowered, you will benefit from a lower monthly repayment and have some extra money in your account. Linked interest rates are usually slightly lower than fixed.

“It is also important to remember that vehicle ownership is more than the initial price tag. You also need to take into account the monthly repayments plus the added costs of fuel, comprehensive insurance cover, as well as general maintenance and service expenses. And, of course. the interest rate hikes that continue to directly impact consumers’ monthly budgets,” comments Gaoaketse.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to structuring a car finance deal. Knowing how much you can realistically afford on the vehicle repayment, including interest rates and other increases, will stand you in good stead. But, it’s not only about cars. The increased interest rate also impacts credit cards, home loans and clothing accounts among others. Consumers with additional debt will notice the increased repayments starting to affect their budgets, as household debt levels in South Africa remain at high levels.

Rising interest rates and inflation, brought on by a deteriorating Rand, a tough economy and other global factors, could see buyers postponing new vehicle purchases, buying down or even exiting the new car market altogether in favour of better value in the used car market.

International Car Safety Standards vs. South African Standards

To keep everyone safe on the road, car safety standards are typically heavily regulated and very strictly enforced globally.

In regions like Europe, there are very specific criteria that have to be met for a car to pass as roadworthy, and the penalties attached to not meeting those criteria are heavy. However, in South Africa, the laws are a bit vague, which makes it harder for car owners to know for certain if their vehicles are completely compliant.

Car Bodywork And Windows

Firstly, your car’s bodywork needs to be intact and in good condition. This means there should be no obvious signs of rust or damage that may cause the vehicle to be a danger to surrounding vehicles, bikers, cyclists or pedestrians.

Any panels that are loose, hanging, dragging, or sticking out are considered dangerous and need to be fixed. Your doors need to all be in good working condition, and handles should work on both the inside and the outside of the vehicle for safety reasons.

The same applies to all windows that can be rolled down, and both your windscreen and back window need to be clean and free from cracks, with windscreen wipers that are still in good working condition. 

Wheels And Lights

Your tyres are a vital safety element of your vehicle and need to be kept in good condition. Legally, this means your tread should be at least 1.6mm deep – if you find the rubber has worn down below this depth, it’s time for a new set. The tyres also need to be of the correct size for your vehicle.

Check that all your lights are in good working order by turning them on and off and ensuring everything from your indicator lights to the fog lamps and brights are still operational. 

Undercarriage And Engine Compartment

Check that your car’s brakes are in working order and that the brake pads are still in good condition. Look out for any rust formation under your vehicle, as this is often not spotted until it starts giving functional problems. Ensure that all components are still well-secured to the framework and that nothing is dragging or loose.

In your engine compartment, make sure that the battery is still secure and that no deposits have formed on the terminals. Also, look out for any loose components or wiring that looks unsecured.

Once you’ve gone through all of these checks, the last important check is to test all of your car’s seat belts to ensure they’re still working like they’re supposed to.

If you notice any issues or aren’t confident about your car’s current condition, it’s best to book it at a car repair workshop for a quick check. After all, safety and prevention are key.

Curtailing Illicit Tyre Trade Will Help Improve Safety On Our Roads

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) is actively working to address the issue of illicit trade of tyres in South Africa, which are an enormous danger on our roads and contribute to the country’s high accident rate annually.

The SATMC is the representative body of the four leading global tyre manufacturers with manufacturing facilities established in the country, namely Bridgestone Southern Africa, Continental Tyre South Africa, Goodyear South Africa and Sumitomo Rubber South Africa.

Chairperson and CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Lubin Ozoux, said illicit tyre trade is a growing concern and has far-reaching impacts on the industry, as well as the safety of drivers and passengers on the road.

“The production, import, export, purchase, sale or possession of tyres that fail to comply with the domestic legislation of South Africa must be taken seriously and stamped out. We as the SATMC, representing local tyre manufacturers, are particularly concerned about the entry of substandard and counterfeit tyres into the South African market. These tyres often do not meet the required safety standards, are made with inferior materials and are prone to failure, placing millions of lives at risk on our roads,” he said.  

Illicit trade must be stopped, as this will create a safe and fair market for South Africa, helping to keep millions of lives safer on the roads

Lubin Ozou, Chairperson and CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa

Tyres which are illegally brought into the country pose a serious threat to the safety of South African consumers. While this issue has been a persistent problem for several years, the recent increase could be attributed to the rise in illegal trade activities globally as globalisation and e-commerce continue to expand.

SATMC Managing Executive, Ndu Chala, said the Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA), in collaboration with the SATMC, has been working closely with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to root out illicit trade in the industry.

SATMC Managing Executive, Ndu Chala, said the Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA), in collaboration with the SATMC, has been working closely with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to root out illicit trade in the industry.

“This influx is concerning, and we have endeavoured to collaborate with the Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA), the Tyre Equipment Parts Association (TEPA) and the government through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) to detect non-compliant behaviour, and ensure consequences for those found to have resorted to this illegal and criminal behaviour,” added Chala.

Ozoux said all role players in the tyre industry including manufacturers, importers, dealers and distributors are aligned and collaborating to tackle the scourge of illicit tyre trade. The SATMC has also introduced a number of solutions, including increased collaboration with law enforcement agencies to enforce regulations, and increased public awareness through targeted campaigns.

“Illicit trade must be stopped, as this will create a safe and fair market for South Africa, helping to keep millions of lives safer on the roads, and protecting local jobs. If reducing the unacceptably high number and cost of road deaths in South Africa is a priority for us all, then we simply cannot continue to allow illegal and often inferior tyres to keep proliferating the local market. Only legitimate and safe tyres should be available to South African consumers,” said Ozoux.

naamsa Responds To The National Budget Speech

The auto industry welcomes the balanced pronouncements made by the Minister of Finance, but has expressed concern over the lack of support for New Energy Vehicles.

The Automotive Business Council has welcomed Minister Enoch Godongwana’s highly anticipated budget speech which addressed several important national topics affecting the country today.

As a responsible corporate citizen, the auto sector understands and welcomes the focus given to the energy crisis, tax cuts for households and businesses, increases in various social services, including health, education, and social grants, and the R903 billion earmarked for infrastructure spending.

Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana

As it relates to the automotive industry, naamsa welcomed the announcement of a 25% tax rebate, up to R15,000.00 for residential solar installations and the rebate guarantee scheme for businesses that have been hit hard by ongoing power outages and rising energy costs. This relief bodes well for the energy needs of many local auto specific businesses who are impacted negatively by the systemic energy supply challenges.

However, while the Minister was progressive in his announcements generally, the automotive industry was particularly disappointed that no solid commitment was made on the support programme for the manufacturing of NEVs and NEV components in the country.

The Minister did not provide any policy guarantees for the South African automotive industry’s inevitable transition to New Energy Vehicles notwithstanding South Africa’s commitments to transition and decarbonisation strategies covered by the $8,5 billion allocation. The industry further reiterated that the delays with the promulgation of the NEV White Paper continues to pose as one of its biggest risk towards investment and retention of jobs in many of our local production lines.

As outlined in the recently released naamsa Thought Leadership Paper, the country’s policy makers must demonstrate tangible and deliberate intent to create and stimulate a competitive environment for the NEV market through various government support schemes for NEV production in order for the South African automotive industry to remain globally relevant, competitive and strong.

Bridgestone Partners with Lamborghini to Develop World-First Supercar Run-Flat All-Terrain Tyre

Bridgestone now offers Lamborghini drivers the world’s first-ever supercar all-terrain tyre featuring Run-Flat Technology

Bridgestone has been chosen as the sole and exclusive tyre partner for the new Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, providing All-Terrain and Winter fitments for the world’s first all-terrain super sports car equipped with a V10 engine and all-wheel drive powertrain.


Specifically designed for the unique engineering requirements of the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, the new Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain AT002 tyre offers drivers maximum on-road and off-road performances.

The Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain AT002 is the world’s first-ever supercar all-terrain tyre to feature Run-Flat Technology (RFT), supporting drivers to continue driving safely even after a puncture – for 80km at 80kph with 0-bar pressure.

These custom-designed Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain AT002 tyres are available in two dimensions: 235/40 RF19 96W XL RFT for the front wheels, and 285/40 RF19 107W XL RFT for the rear.

Bridgestone’s partnership with Lamborghini is part of the company’s vision to provide customer and social value as a sustainable solutions company.

Audi completes second investment wave into South Africa’s EV charging network

Audi South Africa, in partnership with Rubicon, has brought 43 additional electric vehicle (EV) charging stations online across the country

Audi has installed 76 fast and ultra-fast EV chargers across South Africa. With the latest addition of chargers, the total number of DC and AC charging connectors contributed by Audi now stands at 127.

These chargers can accommodate a total of 57 EV cars simultaneously, at varying capacities, regardless of model or brand ownership. This is in addition to the brand’s contribution of 70 EV charging connection points nationwide a year ago, when Audi was the first to bring ultra-fast chargers to South Africa.

The latest rollout includes the very first DC 200kW ultra-fast charger in South Africa, which is installed at the largest shopping mall ever built in a single phase – Mall of Africa – enabling compatible cars to ultra-fast charge.

The EV battery of an e-tron GT can be recharged within 15 minutes*. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed at Mall of Africa is one of the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere, making this installation a progressive statement towards sustainable charging.

EVs are the future of mobility and we’re investing not just in hardware infrastructure, but in making electric mobility simpler and more widely available for South Africans

Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa

The rest of this second phase of infrastructure investment comprises four 100kW (DC), eight 60kW (DC), five 25kW (DC) and twenty-five 22kW (AC) fast EV charger installations at convenient locations across the country to serve all EV customers. The commissioning of the first and second phase of charging infrastructure means that Audi and partners GridCars and Rubicon, have installed 76 fast and ultra-fast EV chargers across South Africa, representing about 28% of public charging stations in the country.

“The rollout of our second phase of EV charging stations is the next step in realising our vision of sustainable mobility and living our mantra that the ‘Future is an Attitude’,” says Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa. “EVs are the future of mobility and we’re investing not just in hardware infrastructure, but in making electric mobility simpler and more widely available for South Africans, thus enabling the local EV market to grow. By fulfilling our promise from early 2022, we’re demonstrating our commitment to helping take SA into the future of mobility”.

The partnership between Audi, GridCars and Rubicon includes a roaming agreement, which allows billing cards to be interoperable across the two networks, making charging even easier, seamless and accessible for Audi e-tron customers and users of other EV brands.

Local availability of more and more EVs, coupled with the increase in fossil fuel costs, will be a major catalyst for EV adoption in South Africa

Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa

Greg Blandford, Director of Rubicon Energy & E-mobility, says that as public interest in EVs grows, so will the drive to integrate charging infrastructure, renewable energy and energy storage systems. “Rubicon is fully immersed and committed to the advancement of renewable energy and deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in South Africa.

With a range between 350 and 480km the Audi e-tron models typically do not require a charge every day

Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa

The global adoption of artificial intelligence, smart devices, greener technologies and carbon reduction initiatives has highlighted and accelerated the adoption of electric vehicles. Local availability of more and more EVs, coupled with the increase in fossil fuel costs, will be a major catalyst for EV adoption in South Africa,” he says.

“While load shedding is a reality to which South Africans have become accustomed, it is worth pointing out that our charging network also capitalises on solar installations, where possible, to keep the charging stations optimally operational,” says Sauer. “With a range between 350 and 480km the Audi e-tron models typically do not require a charge every day, so depending on driving style and daily commuting distances, owners will be able to find their nearest charging station and charge their vehicles regularly, with ease”.

The newly added 43 chargers are spread across the provinces as follows:

W Cape11
E Cape10
Free State1

All 76 Audi-branded charging stations are part of the charging network that can be accessed here: https://www.chargestations.co.za/oemportal/audi/

James Bond stunt driver Mark Higgins enjoys victory at Bowler Defender Challenge

By H&H Admin

Higgins has been at the wheel in the last four James Bond films, including No Time To Die (2021)

Mark Higgins and co-driver Claire Williams won the North Wales leg of the 2022 Defender Bowler Challenge in Dolgellau in a time of 55 minutes and 12 seconds. The duo finished one minute and 41 seconds ahead of their nearest rival.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, a Land Rover Defender 90 with a unique 007 livery made a winning one-off appearance in the Defender Bowler Challenge in Dolgellau, Wales, driven by Bond stunt driver and rally champion Mark Higgins.

The one-off Bowler Defender 90 featured a special 007 60th logo on its roof and sides in a trademark satin black and gold finish, with a host of performance and competition upgrades by the team at Bowler.

Watch here:

Chris de Kock retires as CEO of Wesbank

By H&H Admin

After nearly 35 years in the business, Chris de Kock is retiring as CEO of WesBank and handing over to Ghana Msibi.

WesBank today announced that after nearly 35 years in the business, Chris de Kock is retiring as CEO of WesBank and handing over to Ghana Msibi who is the current CEO of WesBank’s motor retail division.

Chris joined WesBank in 1987 and has held the role as CEO since September 2013.

Chris de Kok

Commenting, Chris said that it was time to hand over the reins to the next generation of leadership.

“I am very proud of the business we have collectively built over the years. WesBank is a market leader in vehicle and asset finance with an unparalleled portfolio of partnerships. Our unique model has allowed us to deliver a long track record of growth and returns to the shareholders of WesBank’s parent FirstRand Limited. I am pleased that Ghana has agreed to take on this role and I have every confidence that he will make it a great success.” 

Ghana Msibi

Ghana who has been with WesBank for the last 7 years, said he was excited to step up and lead WesBank.

“It’s a very special business, with passionate people and high quality, long-standing partnerships. It’s a privilege to take over from Chris,” says Ghana Msibi.

Chris will retire as WesBank CEO effective 30th June 2022 but will remain with the FirstRand group for the next twelve months to ensure a seamless handover and finalise a number of strategic projects currently underway.

Lira and Bryan Habana join forces with Kingsley Holgate to deliver meals in South Africa

By H&H Admin

Global Land Rover ambassador Kingsley Holgate and well-known local Land Rover ambassadors musician Lira and rugby legend Bryan Habana recently embarked on an 8 day adventure to deliver food parcels to an early childhood development centre in Thembisa, Johannesburg.

What started as an objective to deliver 200,000 meals to impoverished South African communities during national lockdown in 2020, has become one of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s biggest ever humanitarian successes with the total tally now reaching more than 2-million meals over the past two years.

The mission was captured in a short film under the banner of #TeamDefender which is an initiative to build a community of like-minded people, who aspire to go above and beyond to make more of their world.

Kingsley Holgate, said: “When we set off almost two years ago on our Mzansi Edge expedition – an 8-day, 16,000km journey to track the land borders of South Africa, we set a target of 200,000 meal deliveries to families in rural areas bordering game reserves that were suffering losses of income due to the pandemic. By the end of the expedition in December 2020, we had surpassed our goal and delivered 250,000 meals in the form of nutritious porridge.”

Award-winning vocalist Lira, said: I may have only played a small part in the 2-million meal accomplishment, but charity and volunteering are close to my heart. Witnessing the joy that Kingsley and his team have brought to millions of people for many decades first hand has left me with an immense sense of pride. I encourage anyone to seek new experiences and find the courage it takes to make more of their world.”

Former Springbok Bryan Habana, said: “It’s a privilege to use my role as a Land Rover ambassador to give back, and I’m honoured to have joined Kingsley and his team for part of his latest expedition. The work his Foundation has done throughout the pandemic is of massive importance to communities in South Africa, and I bid him and his team farewell as they leave Mzansi’s borders to continue humanitarian efforts across Africa and into Europe.”

Kingsley Holgate’s year-long Defender Transcontinental expedition promises to be one of his most challenging geographic and humanitarian journeys to date. The expedition involves a 30,000km journey through 30 countries from the southern tip of the African continent to the most northern point of Europe, and then on to the birthplace of Land Rover at the mystical Isle of Anglesey in Wales.

It will be the first real-life expedition test for Land Rover’s new Defenders outside of South African borders, across two continents and over some of the most extreme terrain on Earth, undertaken by an experienced team that has already completed 39 gruelling expeditions to every country on the African continent and beyond – many of them world-firsts.

Humanitarian objectives for the Defender Transcontinental expedition include eye tests and reading glasses for the elderly in remote areas, the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to mothers and children, the delivery of two million meals to creches, educational conservation work near elephant and rhino populations, and the supply of water to communities with water shortages.

Watch the film featuring Lira, Bryan Habana and the Holgates here:


Orders now open for New Range Rover Plug-in hybrid

By H&H Admin

Land Rover South Africa has opened order books and confirmed prices for the New Range Rover Extended-Range plug-in hybrid.

Land Rover South Africa has opened order books and confirmed prices for the New Range Rover Extended-Range plug-in hybrid, while revealing performance figures are even stronger than originally estimated.

The P510e Extended-Range Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) offers exceptional efficiency, producing CO2 emissions as low as 18g/km and providing up to 113km of EV range* – exceeding initial expectations and offering customers even greater breadth of capability. At its reveal last year, Land Rover suggested an EV range of 100km and CO2 emissions below 30g/km would be attainable.

Nick Collins, Executive Director Vehicle Programmes, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “New Range Rover is the most desirable, elegant and capable luxury SUV in the world. Our efficient new Extended-Range Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle powertrains elevate the driving experience with a fine balance of performance, refinement and efficiency, enabling owners to complete whisper quiet zero emissions journeys of up to 113km.”

Electrified future

New Range Rover will become the first in a series of all-electric Land Rovers when the 100 percent electric model debuts in 2024, with every Land Rover set to be available with pure-electric propulsion by the end of the decade – helping Jaguar Land Rover achieve net zero carbon across its products, operations and supply chain by 2039 as part of its Reimagine strategy.

New Range Rover Extended-Range Plug-in Hybrid is available to order now from R3,527,000.

New state-of-the-art Jaguar Land Rover dealership opens in Bryanston

By H&H Admin

After several months of renovations, the Jaguar Land Rover Bryanston dealership has re-opened featureing a state-of-the-art look and features.

The well-known Jaguar Bryanston dealership at the corner of William Nicol and Peter Place has undergone a complete renovation and reopened as a dual-brand retailer selling and servicing both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

First opened in 1999, the dealership has serviced Jaguar customers in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs for more than 20 years.

The facility was closed temporarily in October 2020 for refurbishments, and has re-emerged as a new, 7,000 square meter premises to continue delivering world-class experiences to customers in the area.

The new dealership’s 1,300 square metre showroom floor is large enough to showcase 20 new and approved pre-owned vehicles, and visitors can relax or work in a comfortable lounge area complete with a complimentary coffee barista.

A delivery bay adjacent to the showroom offers an intimate and private atmosphere for the handover of customers’ new luxury vehicles.

The site’s overhauled service centre is equipped with 22 workshop bays and lifts, including areas dedicated for Jaguar Land Rover’s growing selection of electrified vehicles.

The spacious parking area is also prepared for the future of emissions-free motoring with two dedicated electric vehicle (EV) parking bays with 22kW AC charging stations. These chargers are available to the public with any EV or plug-in hybrid vehicle during business hours.