Isuzu Trucks Drive Rural Wild Coast Economy

GQEBERHA – Since the introduction of the first Isuzu truck in 1975, Isuzu Trucks have become a familiar feature on South African roads. Isuzu boasts an enviable record of being the top truck brand by sales in South African for the past nine in a row in the medium, and heavy-duty segments of the truck market.

This makes Isuzu trucks an integral part of the South African economy. While other regions in the country might have multiple options for transportation of goods, one area in the country, the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, seems to have a singular preference for the Isuzu F-Series Truck. In this region, which is made up of the rural villages spanning the region from the Kie River to the Mkambathi River, most transportation of goods from small towns to villages is undertaken on gravel roads whose condition often leaves a lot to be desired.

“The roads in our region are very bad and can be a serious challenge when it rains. The progress is slow, so we have to work long hours. I transport sand, and other building material. I often start my day at 3 am and work well past sunset,” says local business man and F-Series truck owner, Mzukisi Mesani.

Locals consider the Isuzu F-Series to be the backbone of the transport infrastructure in the Mazzeppa Bay Area. Essential goods are often transported from local towns such as Centane and Butterworth to be delivered to homesteads in surrounding villages which are up to 70 km away.

Local business woman, Vuyelwa Ntsendwana, who has been running a shop in Gqunqe village since the early eighties says, “we bought our first Isuzu truck in 1984 and it quickly became an indispensable resource for everyone in this village. These trucks are essential because the rain makes our roads very bad. We need the trucks to deliver crushed stone, sand, water, and stock for the shop. Isuzu is preferred for these conditions because it is powerful and reliable.”

“It’s no surprise to see Isuzu trucks having such a strong reputation in some of the most difficult operating regions in our country. The F-Series Trucks are uniquely suited to South African conditions due to the robust engineering and quality focused assembly processes at Isuzu. The Engineering team in Port Elizabeth continuously tests and develops these vehicles to ensure uninterrupted operation to ensure reliability and minimise downtime for operators, “says Tim Hendon, Senior Manager Marketing ROFA.

Isuzu boasts a broad range of locally-assembled trucks, including N-Series with 23 models, F-Series with 24 models, and FX-Series with 11 models. An additional 12 models are available as Truck Tractor conversions.