This Week In The News

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Selling dirty diesel

  • Department of Mineral Resources and Energy spokesperson Robert Maake said to SABC News, “If you go to a service station and you find that the diesel price is too good to be true, you get a discount of more than R1.00/liter compared to other stations around, then you must be suspicious of that kind of diesel.”

  • VW has taken the covers off the new Golf GTI, which is expected to be the final version of the iconic petrol-powered hatch before it goes all-electric.

  • 7-seater Toyota Urban Cruiser and Suzuki Grand Vitara - Toyota and Suzuki are reportedly working on seven-seater versions of two of their most popular cars.

  • Towards the tail end of 2023, Sanral put forward 77 tenders for various road construction projects to the tune of R6.43 billion, which will all be awarded in early 2024, said CEO Reginald Demana.
  • In the 2021/2022 financial year, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) resurfaced only 449km of national roads, and in the 2022/2023 period, this increased to 688km. Year-to-date in the 2023/2024 period, Sanral has already resurfaced 1,308km of roads, an impressive 291% more than two years ago.

  • The entire Ford Ranger family is now available with manufacturer-backed armouring solutions directly from Ford dealerships in South Africa.

  • At present, EVs imported into South Africa are taxed up to 7% higher than petrol and diesel cars depending on their country of origin, with an additional 17% “luxury tax” being placed upon them due to their batteries, and 15% VAT also thrown into the equation.

  • South African traffic cop arrested for taking R15,000 bribe: Hawks’ Bellville-based serious corruption investigation team has arrested Renay Claudine Ruiters for acts of corruption after she allegedly solicited a R15,000 bribe from a motorist in September last year. Ruiters, 47, is a traffic official who allegedly extorted R15,000 from a person whom she arrested for driving under the influence of liquor in September 2023
  • Sony, one of the largest electronics companies in the world, is getting in on the automotive world with the launch of its own car brand.

Sony Car

Used car sales grew to R 146 billion in 2023.

While South Africa’s new-car market took a hit in 2023 with five consecutive months of declining sales, the pre-owned sector is doing better than ever.

Data from AutoTrader’s annual report showed that the number of used cars sold rose by 4.6% year-on-year, with 367,075 units purchased – 17,000 more than in 2022.

Consumers spent, on average, R399,163 on a pre-owned set of wheels last year which is 7.7% more than the previous year, which is attributed to the rise in cost of new vehicles over the same period, said AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

In total, motorists spent an incredible R146.5 billion on second-hand vehicles in 2023, a year-on-year increase of more than R10 billion.

Toyota was the brand of choice for price-conscious South Africans, selling 60,296 units, which translates to a 16.4% market share.

VW and Ford placed second and third, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz rounding out the top five brands.
Suzuki saw the largest increase in market share with an impressive 28.8% jump in sales, while Kia also had a good year with a 16.6% growth rate.

German car brands, on the other hand, had a weaker year with BMW, Mercedes, and Audi all seeing a decline in sales. Likewise, the VW Polo’s popularity is beginning to drop with a 4.5% year-on-year decline.
While Toyota and VW had the best performances overall, the number one most-sought-after model was actually the Ford Ranger, with over 20,000 drivers picking up the Blue Oval’s bakkie in 2023.


These were the 10 most popular cars in the used market in South Africa in 2023.

1. Ford Ranger 20,156 units
2. Toyota Hilux 17,555 units
3. VW Polo 16,140 units
4. VW Polo Vivo 10,990 units
5. Toyota Fortuner 9,169 units
6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 7,850 units
7. BMW 3 Series 6,855 units
8. Ford EcoSport 6,032 units
9. Nissan NP200 4,506 units
10. Kia Picanto 4,460 units


Giniel de Villiers now the sole owner of rare Dakar Rally record:

Dakar Rally Giniel De Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver has finished the grueling race 21 times in a row. 

Giniel de Villiers again managed to finish in the Top 10 of the Dakar Rally in his Toyota Hilux.

Giniel de Villiers further enhanced his status as Dakar Rally legend to become the first competitor in the history of the grueling event’s history to finish 21 consecutive races.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa (TGRSA) driver finished this year’s race in Saudi Arabia in seventh place in the cars category to become the sole holder of this remarkable record. Going into the race, he shared the record with Yoshimasa Sugawara from Japan, who finished 20 consecutive races as truck driver from 1989 to 2009.

Sugawara still holds the overall record for most Dakar finishes, having crossed the finish line 29 times.
De Villiers, who again had Dennis Murphy as navigator, made his debut in 2003 in a Nissan and only finished outside the top 10 once. His eight podium places include one win in a VW Touareg in 2009


Done and Dusty: 2024 Dakar Rally concludes, Southern Africa done proud

Spaniards Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz quite literally cruised home to clinch El Matador’s fourth Dakar win at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia . It was a major petrol-electric coup for Audi, while seven South African made cars filled the top ten.

One of the toughest Dakars on record, the 2024 race was great for Southern African men and machines, with South African Cross Country champions Ross Branch second overall and Bradley Cox third in Rally 2.

The results highlight the success of the South African Rally-Raid Championship, with local vehicle manufacturers Toyota, Ford, Century Racing, and Red-Lined Motorsport all achieving remarkable results. This success also underscores the effectiveness of the SARRC in establishing the foundation for high-level international participation.