In March 2015, the government awarded Swiss Company Societe Generale Surveillance (SGS) a contract to carry out mandatory vehicle inspections in Uganda.
The motor vehicle inspection, which started in November last year, under the “Safe Drive Uganda” initiative, was meant to ensure that motor vehicles are in good mechanical condition to be on the road. This would also help reduce road accidents in the country.
However, the compulsory inspection got some hiccups along the way.
Sections of the public petitioned the Speaker of Parliament over the exercise. Some of the irregularities cited included the delay in construction of other inspection points and the extra charges imposed on car owners in addition to the taxes they pay to Uganda Revenue Authority. Consequently, Parliament indefinitely extended the exercise whose deadline was meant to be June 30.
On Tuesday, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), said it will subject used vehicles to new inspection standards with a view to weed out vehicles that do not match the road worthiness test.
The Standard developed by UNBS’ technical committee on Transport and Communications, specifies specific safety and related performance characteristics expected of a used motor vehicle, let alone their inspection and testing for road worthiness.
The new standard – US845 – requires that used vehicles are inspected for conformity to Uganda standards before being exported from the country of origin in what is known as Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC). After the test, cars are issued with a certificate of road worthiness to allow them in the country during importation. However, the certificate is valid for only one year, requiring routine inspection for road worthiness annually.
Government should, therefore, streamline its processes involving motor vehicle inspection in the country. Having two institutions performing the same role is not only misusing the meagre resources, but it is also a clear manifestation of duplication of roles.
This is unwarranted and should be dealt with since it is another burden to taxpayers, who are already shouldering so much, only to be wasted in duplication of functions. UNBS should be fully in charge of this exercise considering that it is tasked with implementing standards in the country.