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South Africa’s heroes – Hollard Highway Heroes – show us all a better future



The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the FIA. The article below was supplied by 2018 FIA partner, Hollard Insure.

Good business is when a profit is made. Great business is when a profit is turned and people are better off.

It is for this reason that Hollard’s business activities are informed by Better Futures, a campaign that highlights the need to make a positive difference in the lives of people as well as do sustainable business.

And there’s no better example of Better Futures than the Hollard Highway Heroes competition. Highway Heroes manages to achieve what most corporate competitions cannot: it benefits everyone, not just the sponsor and the winner.

In short, Hollard Highway Heroes is an initiative that promotes better driving by truck drivers, who are incentivised by great prizes. (The overall winner of the 2018 competition will take home cash and prizes worth a significant R100 000.)

Of course, Highway Heroes certainly does promote the Hollard brand, as it should, and trucking policyholders benefit in the form of lower fuel and maintenance costs, fewer accidents, less downtime, fewer insurance claims and,ultimately, lower premiums.

But the real beauty of Hollard Highway Heroes lies in two things that have little to do with the actual competition. Firstly, all of South Africa benefits. In encouraging better and safer driving by truck drivers, we’re helping to make the road network safer for all road users – in other words, every single one of us.

And secondly, Hollard Highway Heroes raises public awareness of truck drivers and the vital role they play in keeping the economy working, and encourages the public to just be nicer to them.

Most of us have, at some point, been travelling on a highway and been slowed down by a truck – or worse still, several trucks. It is frustrating, but generally for no other reason than that the truck driver is actually doing the right thing and
not speeding, and we might have to take a few minutes longer to reach our destination.

We want people to change their attitudes to truck drivers generally, and not see them as a nuisance – rather that they are hard-working, productive members of society who put others before themselves. Because that’s who real heroes, and
what better futures, are all about.

Something else that really makes Hollard Highway Heroes stand out from the competition crowd is that it identifies the winner as a justifiable hero – someone who’s proved his or her mettle as a safe and responsible driver, and who wasn’t
just a lucky winner. Someone like Phillip Mhlaolo Mtembu.

Phillip is the 2017 Hollard Highway Hero. He worked hard for his title, beating 890 fellow truckers (whom we also consider heroes, simply for their willingness to compete) to the top spot.

Certainly, by winning R75 000 in cash and prizes, Phillip has been given a helping hand towards a better future for himself and his young family. I can tell you, it was a great feeling to present the prize to this softly spoken, modest man late last year.

But we also want the world to know about Phillip Mtembu, and what a standout fellow road user he is. As part of his prize, his truck has been branded so that the motoring public can see that they’re sharing the road with a hero. We want everybody passing by Phillip’s truck to know that he’s a careful, considerate driver, the kind we should all be emulating.

I don’t need to tell you that South Africa’s road accident statistics are horrific, and that so many people – way too many – die needlessly every year. But it’s not truck drivers who are generally at fault; it’s the rest of us, who will take risks in our unreasonable haste to get past those slow-moving trucks, who will drink and drive, who will speed.

We should take a leaf out of the books of our Highway Heroes. We should obey the law, rest frequently and be mindful of everyone on the road, just like they do. And we should give them a friendly wave when we pass them along the way, acknowledging them as the good guys they are. That’s how we’ll create better futures.

To find out more about Hollard Highway Heroes, please visit https://www.hollard.co.za/highway-heroes.