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AA disputes price manipulation accusation

eNCA logo eNCA 2018-06-14
Photo_Web_AA_140618: File: The AA has called on government to regulate the industry. © Facebook / AA South Africa File: The AA has called on government to regulate the industry.

JOHANNESBURG - Rival groups in the towing industry are accusing the Automobile Association of foul play.

At least five other associations say the AA is keeping its towing rates low in a bid to unfairly control the industry.

The rival associations say the AA is not only suppressing prices, but is also not serious about transformation.

And despite being competitors, they say they’ll fight together to ensure their survival.

“They’ve gone into a deal that is bad for towers, they are using their dominant position in the market to suppress prices and rates," said Wesley Douglas of the SA Towing Board.

SA Towing and Recovery Association Chairperson Andre van der Merwe said when it comes down to the fundamentals, associations should stand shoulder to shoulder.

"The fundamentals are transformation and sustainability and you can’t transform an unsustainable industry,” he said.

But the AA says the problem lies in the industry remaining unregulated.

CEO Collins Khumalo denies trying to suppress prices.

Khumalo said government intervention would help solve the issues in the industry.

“I think regulation would bring some level of sanity; regulation would bring some level of control,” said Khumalo.

The smaller groups are calling for a boycott of the AA.

They say they’ll refuse to work with the association until an agreement on pricing can be reached. 

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