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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

South African Tow Firms & Panel Beaters Call Off March

Here's the story from Business Report:
The vehicle body repair and tow truck industries have called off a planned protest march to Absa's head office tomorrow after reaching agreement on a number of issues related to the banking group's short-term insurance arm.

Aleeshen Kisten, the national director of the SA Motor Body Repairers Association (Sambra), on Friday said it had reached agreement with Absa on Wednesday to resolve the dispute and had subsequently received a memorandum of understanding from Absa's attorneys, which it was reviewing.

Andre van der Merwe, the chairman of the SA Towing and Recovery Association (Satra), said it had received a draft document from Absa's attorneys but "quite a lot was lost in translation" from what had been agreed at the meeting.

Van der Merwe said Satra had called off a planned protest march but the draft was not in the spirit of what was agreed.

Attempts to obtain comment from Absa were unsuccessful.

Kisten said Absa had planned to introduce a close vehicle repair network panel with many quality repairers excluded as the last hurdle in the selection process was based only on price.

He said it was agreed that the customer's right of choice would prevail and if a customer wanted to use a specific repairer, there would not be any inducement from Absa that repairers on its panel be used and it would not use disclaimers if that repairer was not on the list.

Kisten said the agreement addressed most of Sambra's issues with Absa, adding that it was wrong of Absa to only deal with a select group of repairers and give them volumes.

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