Heels & Horsepower Magazine

Major fuel price hike coming up in February

South African motorists are in for a massive fuel price increase from the beginning of this month.

According to data from the Central Energy Fund, motorists can expect to pay 82c more for petrol, 59c for diesel and 60c for illuminating paraffin.  This will bring the price of a litre of 95 Unleaded petrol to R14.90 at the coast and R15.68 inland. A litre of 93 ULP petrol will now cost R15.51.

The Automobile Association notes that even though the Rand has performed significantly better in the past few months than it did during the peak of the Covid-19 crises, oil prices have steadily risen. 

“Unfortunately, our mid-month concerns over the advancing oil prices have been borne out in practise. There has been a slow, but steady, rise in the price of oil which is likely to cause ongoing pain at the pumps, explains the AA.

Driving through sea foam

Driving tips for rain, mist or snow are normal and expected for many countries around the world. In South Africa, however, drivers need tips on what to do when gale force winds blow sea spray and clouds of foam into the roads bordering the ocean. Yesterday in Cape Town, people found themselves driving through a ‘sea’ of foam that reached up to the door handles of some cars, depending on their size.

The first option is to cancel any plans that can be delayed by a day.

– Eugene Herbert, Managing Director MasterDrive

The Managing Director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says that while this is not a regular occurrence, it has happened before and will likely happen again necessitating preparedness for it. “When cold fronts hit the Western Cape sea line, be cautious before jumping into your car. Storms along the Cape can be violent and dangerous, whether you are out to sea or simply driving past the ocean.

“The first option is to cancel any plans that can be delayed by a day. Driving in conditions similar to yesterday is simply not worth the danger and even expense to your car. For plans that cannot be delayed, be proactive when cold fronts hit the Cape in winter. Check the news reports before you leave to make sure that a particular area on your route has not become a danger zone.”

News reports alone should not be your only attempt to confirm if an area is safe to drive through. “If you know people who live or work in areas that are vulnerable to bad weather like Sea Point or Kalk Bay, check in with them to find out what the conditions are like. Alternatively, use social media to check if people are sharing videos or content about dangerous conditions. The ultimate aim is to avoid the situation all together.”

If, however, you are caught in such a storm despite your best efforts, there are certain guidelines that can direct your actions. “In such a scenario visibility will be severely affected. Not only straight ahead of you but you will not be able to see the road and which direction to even drive toward. Use indicators such as road signs, robots or anything else showing the direction of travel to guide you.

Remember, every time the road conditions change, so should your driving.


“Ultimately, if you can use these markers, use them to get off the road and somewhere undercover, where you can wait until it is safer to drive. Be sure to let a family member, colleague or your boss where you are and that you’re waiting it out. If this is not possible and you cannot find any markers to guide your direction of travel, stay where you are if there is no danger of someone driving into your car. If necessary, call emergency services for assistance rather than endanger yourself or anyone else.”

Remember, every time the road conditions change, so should your driving.


While it is not recommended, and you do continue driving because you think know the roads well enough to drive without incident, there are some non-negotiables to follow. “Most importantly is speed. You can easily misjudge where a curve in the road is and it is better to bump into it than smash into it. Additionally, off-spray can blind other drivers. Be courteous to everyone struggling through the weather.

“South Africa is battling some of the worst cold fronts and weather conditions experienced in some time. Remember, every time the road conditions change, so should your driving. Especially if the road becomes an ocean,” says Herbert.

AA launches petition to extend validity period of licenses

The Automobile Association (AA) has launched an online petition to encourage the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, to extend the validity period of vehicle licence discs and driving licence cards.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), “All Learner’s Licences, driver’s licences, motor vehicle licence discs, temporary permits, roadworthy certificates and professional driving permits (PrDPs) that expired during the period that commenced from 26 March to 31 May, are deemed valid and their validity period is further extended with 90 days from 1 June to 31 August 2020”.

However, despite this concession, the AA believes it does not take into account licences which expired after 31 May, nor the reduced capacity of Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) to renew driving licences, and the South African Post Office to process discs.

…the majority of drivers in South Africa prefer to remain compliant with the regulations, and to be on the road legally

– Willem Groenewald, AA CEO

In a letter to the Minister on 29 June, AA CEO Willem Groenewald noted that there are problems with the current legacy operational framework of the DLTCs combined with unforeseen circumstances such as COVID-19 which make it difficult for them to service drivers within that timeframe. He said that the current National Traffic Information System (NaTIS) on which people must book appointments continues to be problematic and that centres may be closed intermittently due to COVID-19.

“Our experience is that the majority of drivers in South Africa prefer to remain compliant with the regulations, and to be on the road legally. Despite the system being problematic, drivers take the necessary steps to ensure they remain within the law. However, given the current constraints on the system, many are faced with the real possibility that they may not be able to do this,” Mr Groenewald said.

An added issue, Mr Groenewald noted, was that drivers who are unable to renew discs or driving cards may have problems if they are involved in crashes as insurers may repudiate claims based on the fact that the drivers are not on the road legally.

Our proposed extension date also makes provision for the closure of DLTCs over the festive period…


The AA has called for a further extension beyond the end of August to the end of January 2021, which it says it a more feasible option to the current date of 31 August.

“Our proposed extension date also makes provision for the closure of DLTCs over the festive period, and for further potential closures as a result of COVID-19,” he noted.

In support of the Minister resolving the problems, the AA is offering its national network of agents to assist drivers renew their licences. The Association says the Minister should consider allowing third party agents – such as the AA – to perform vehicle disc and driving licence card renewal services which are currently only offered through the DLTCs and the Post Office.

It said that not only will this go a long way in dealing with the current and historical backlogs, it will also alleviate the pressure on the DLTC infrastructure going forward. The AA has not received a response from the Minister nor his office to the letter sent at the end of June. However, the AA will continue to raise this issue wherever it can in an effort to ensure the validity of licence discs, driving licence cards and other licences is extended, and that drivers can drive with peace of mind.

In this regard, the AA is launching an online petition available at: https://www.aa.co.za/petition-to-extend-the-licence through which it wants to attract signatures in support for its call to pass on to the Minister as a sign of the backing its call enjoys among the public.

Charmagne Mavudzi Takes Key Role at Volvo Car SA

Multiple award-winning marketer Charmagne Mavudzi has been appointed as Volvo Car South Africa’s new Director of Customer Experience. Mavudzi moves into the role after joining the company as Head of Marketing and Communications in 2018. Her appointment is part of a global reshuffle within the Swedish auto giant. 

Known for building strong brands that leverage innovation, Mavudzi is a leader in Africa’s digital marketing landscape. An alumni of the Gordon Business Institute, she began her career as a successful tech entrepreneur before moving to prominent roles at Child Trace Initiative and their tech driver TR8 technologies. Thereafter stints at Handel Marketing and Accenture followed, before she joined Ogilvy & Mather as Head of Marketing and Communications, playing a key role in their own global reshuffling process of 2017. 

In her new role at Volvo, Mavudzi takes the reins of the new and centralised customer focused portfolio, allowing her direct influence over every user experience touchpoint, as customers move through the company’s various departments from first acquisition to return buying. 

“People centricity is at the core of the Volvo brand,” says Mavudzi. “For us this means a shift toward a 360 degree commitment to our customers. It’s satisfaction at every point of interaction that fosters retention and loyalty, and turns our customers into brand ambassadors too.” 

Concurrently, she takes a chief position in the company’s recently established Transformation Through Change management portfolio, as the company embarks on a global restructuring toward a more customer-centric approach. 

“Our goal is to create a global company that is more adaptable to our customers on an individual basis,” she says. “ It’s a data-driven, customer focused process with decentralisation and entrepreneurship at its core.”

Recognised as a Woman Of Excellence in 2019, Mavudzi stands out as an inspirational role-model to those coming after her, and is excited to take on her new dual challenge at Volvo. 

Volvo plans to complete its restructuring process by 2020’s end.

Motoring Journalist Brenwin Naidu Joins World Car Awards Panel

Motoring journalist Brenwin Naidu has been admitted to the jury panel of the prestigious World Car Awards competition. 

He is one of four South Africans to serve on the judging panel of the organisation, joining highly respected automotive journalists Hannes Oosthuizen (Cars.co.za), Charleen Clarke (freelancer) and Lerato Matebese (Driven). 

Inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in 2004, World Car Awards is a non-profit organisation designed to acknowledge and celebrate new standards across the spectrum of new passenger vehicles – with the overall World Car of the Year title being the most coveted in the suite of accolades. 

According to the 2020 media report by leading research and analysis firm Cision Insights, it is the number one awards programme of its kind, a plaudit it has held for the last eight consecutive years. 

Naidu currently holds the position of Section Editor for the Sowetan Motoring and Sunday Times Lifestyle Motoring titles, published weekly and monthly respectively.

The former remains in the top 10 national print publications with the biggest circulations, while the latter lays claim to being the largest-circulating English-language print title in the country. Both are regarded as household names and are further bolstered by formidable online footprints.

In addition, the 27-year-old is a familiar face as a contributor to Ignition GT, the flagship magazine show of Ignition TV, DStv channel 189, the only 24/7 motoring channel in Southern Africa.

The SowetanSunday Times and Ignition TVare owned by Arena Holdings (Pty) Ltd. The automotive offerings by the company also include Business Day Motor Newsand the TimesLIVE Motoringportal.  

“I am grateful for the vote of confidence from the Executive Committee Director and Steering Committee of World Car Awards, the opportunity to contribute at the very pinnacle of automotive excellence awards initiatives is a true honour,” Naidu said. 

“South Africa deserves representation on the global stage. It is worth remembering that as many as nine of the biggest carmakers in the world have well-established manufacturing and assembly facilities on local soil, catering to markets on the African continent and beyond.”

“Our relevance is also evidenced in the sheer breadth and diversity of the new vehicle market, which surely has to rank among the widest for any country: from the budget-focussed compact A-segment, to the most exclusive prestige marques, there are few brands that do not feature on the local scene.” 

“Lastly, our country is home to some of the finest driving roads on the planet, backgrounded by immense natural beauty – and we simply must boast about our numerous iconic racing circuits, renowned on an international scale.”

Denis Droppa, Group Motoring Editor at Arena Holdings and Editor-In-Chief of Business Day Motor News said: “We are proud to have Brenwin Naidu selected as a World Car Awards juror. His deep automotive knowledge and his passion for motoring journalism will make him an asset to this prestigious competition.”

The official launch of the 2021 instalment of the World Car Awards will happen via virtual ceremony on August 26. From September 2020 to January 2021, the testing and scoring process is underway, culminating in the World Car Finals in February. This will be followed by the announcement of the Top Three in the World on March 2, with the winners scheduled to be revealed on March 31.

Since 2018 Naidu has served on the judging panel of the Cars.co.za Awards sponsored by vehicle and asset financier, WesBank. He remains a full member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) and was the 2017 recipient of the coveted Bridgestone Steve Dlamini Award for Excellence in Motoring Journalism. The accolade recognises promising young achievers, honouring the legacy of Steve Dlamini, one of the first black motoring editors in South Africa, who tragically lost his life in a motorcycle collision in 2009. 

Lerato Matebese joins WCOTY 2021 Jury

TCB Media’s DrivenMotoring Editor, Lerato Matebese, joins the prestigious World Car Awards (WCOTY) Jury panel in 2021 competition.

The World Car Awards (WCOTY) is an automobile award selected by a jury of 82 international automotive journalists from 24 countries. Cars considered must be sold in at least five countries, on at least two continents prior to 1 January of the year of the award. The contest was inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004.

According to the 2020 media report by leading research and analysis firm, Cision Insights, it is the number one awards programme of its kind, an acclaim it has held for the last eight consecutive years. 

Lerato Matebese entered the motor industry at the beginning of 2006 as the then SAGMJ (South African Motoring Journalists) bursar student and in the process contributed to a vast number of motoring titles, comprising both magazines and newspapers.

From January 2007 to September 2018 Lerato was employed as a senior motoring writer for Business Day’s weekly motoring supplement, Motor News, a position he had held for just over 11 years.

Matebese joined TCB Media in October 2018 as editor of the premium motoring title, Drivenmagazine. Bringing with him a wealth of media automotive experience, he has been instrumental in growing Drivenmagazine, both in terms of reach and status. 

He has been a SAGMJ South African Car of the Year Jury member for 8 years having served as an assistant for two years prior to that, and he has also been a juror for the Wesbank sponsored Cars.co.za awards for 2019 and 2020 respectively

“It is truly an honour and privilege to be selected as one of the jury members of the WCOTY competition, representing Mzansi, and it is an opportunity I look forward to relish and cherish with due diligence. I’d like to thank the entire WCOTY Committee Directors for the opportunity, and more importantly my TCB Media colleagues for their unwavering support,” said Matebese.

Matebese is among a total of four South Africans to serve on the judging panel of the organisation, alongside highly respected automotive journalists Hannes Oosthuizen (Cars.co.za), Charleen Clarke (Freelance) and Brenwin Naidu (Sowetan Motoring and Sunday Times Lifestyle Motoring).

Wilhelm Loots, CEO of TCB Media added: “The company as a whole, and the Driven magazine team in particular, are exceptionally proud for our editor, Lerato Matebese, to serve as a jury member for the 2021 World Car of the Year Awards (WCOTY). Over the years, I have followed the WCOTY with keen interest, never thinking that one of ours would become a part of this prestigious international competition. I have every confidence that Lerato will serve the whole of South Africa with distinction, and we pledge him our full support.”

How AARTO Will Affect Your Insurance Premiums

Motorists will soon have to adjust their driving style in order to keep out of trouble with the law!  

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act into law in August 2019, introducing a new demerit system for South African drivers.

In the wake of the new act, a number of insurance service providers have suggested that the bill might have harsh effects on the insurance industry – one of them being the suspension of motorist’s licenses that could most likely increase insurance premiums or excess for South African drivers in general.

The immediate concern for most motorists will be around how this new act affect their insurance premiums, says Old Mutual Insure’s Christelle Colman.

“The demerit system could potentially be linked to underwriting criteria as it does reflect driving behaviour.  Drivers with a poor record on this system could face higher premiums but that would be at the discretion of each company,” she said.

She added that depending on how efficiently the bill is rolled out, the new law could also see good drivers benefit from better premiums with the bad drivers being penalised.

“The bill does, however, paint a bit of a dim picture when it comes to how it will affect the insurance industry,” Colman says.

“The bill does, however, paint a bit of a dim picture when it comes to how it will affect the insurance industry,”

– chistelle coleman, Old Mutual Insure

“The highest risk is that drivers could lose their licenses due to speed fines (even minor ones) which could potentially mean that their existing motor policies will not respond or that they will not be able to get motor insurance,” she said.

“We already have a very high percentage of uninsured vehicles on the road. This will increase uninsured vehicles on the road and will also have a severe impact on the recovery process after an accident.”

To further compound matters, the repossession of driver’s licenses would cause driver’s claims/cover to be forfeited, Colman continued.

“Based on current policy wording cover will not exist if a driver does not have a valid driver’s license.  It will also be very difficult for insurance companies to waive this requirement as it is law to have a valid driver’s license.” She said.

Colman added that Old Mutual Insure had already begun with preparations for the implementation of the new bill and is currently reviewing their underwriting criteria to see what their approach will be.

Fuel Price Increase July

South African motorists will be hit with another hefty fuel price hike in July, effectively wiping out most of the fuel price relief that lockdown brought.

Commenting on unaudited month-end data, the Automobile Association is predicting a petrol price increase of R1.73 a litre from next Wednesday, July 1, while diesel is set to go up by R1.74 a litre and illuminating paraffin by R2.14.

The latest increase will drive the price of 95 Unleaded petrol up to R14.43 per litre at the coast and R15.13 inland, where the cheaper 93 ULP grade will rise to around R14.93. This is just 78 cents less per litre than this year’s price peak of R15.71 for 93 ULP just before lockdown.

This means a tank of petrol will cost between R52 and R130 more, depending on what car you drive.

Strict Motoring Rules For 2020

Motorists will soon have to adjust their driving style in order to keep our of trouble with the law!  

Two major traffic laws come into effect in June 2020, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.  These are the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act as well as a new zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving.


Initially discussed in November 2019, Minister Mbalula has confirmed that motorists will no longer be permitted to mix alcohol and driving whatsoever.  Simply put, a 0% legal blood-alcohol limit will be effected meaning that the presence of even the smallest trace of alcohol detected in anyone operating a motor vehicle will be illegal. 

At present, South African legal limit is 0.05% and drivers who adhere to the stipulated alcohol unit permissible have been considered a within the legal alcohol limits.  The new law however does away with this completely from June 2020. 

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, over 24, 000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol over the 2019/2020 festive season, a figure which translated to clost to one-third of all road related arrests made over the holiday period. This clearly shows just how dire the problem of drunk driving in our country is. 


In addition to the zero tolerance for alcohol law, Minister Mbalula also confirmed that June 2020 will see the introduction of the AARTO system, in which all traffic fines dispensed throughout the country will carry the same penal value.

That said, not all infringements will result in demerit points as roughly half of the violations laid out in Schedule 3 of the AARTO regulations do not bear any demerit points at all. 

The AARTO system stipulates that a drier may incur no more than 12-demerit points on their license.  Should a driver incur a 13thpoint however, their license, would be suspended for a period of 3-months per every point over the 12 points ‘allowed’. 

In spite of the criticism from organizations such as the AA and OUTA, Minister Mbalula remains undeterred and strongly warns motorists to prepare themselves for the introduction of the demerit system. 

“We are going live. We take points. We take away your driver’s license.  The President has signed this into law and now we are implementing it,” he said.