Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of South Africa have launched the “Safer Choice Africa” award in a bid to encourage automakers to achieve the highest levels of crash-test safety.

The news follows the announcement of the Safer Choice India award at the Delhi motor show in February 2018.

Of course, in November 2017, the first independent crash test results for cars sold in Africa were released by Global NCAP in Cape Town. The crashworthiness results of the five cars tested showed a wide range of safety performance, from four to zero stars for adult protection, with the lowest ratings resulting in a high probability of life-threatening injury in a crash.

To encourage manufacturers to quickly improve the safety levels of cars sold in the region, Global NCAP is now looking to bestow the accolade of Africa’s first five-star car through the Safer Choice Africa award.

To qualify for a Safer Choice Award, a car must: achieve a five-star score for adult occupant protection; achieve at least a four-star result in child occupant protection; offer electronic stability control; meet UN pedestrian protection requirements; and have all of these requirements validated at a Global NCAP designated laboratory and by the provision of type approval certificates, where applicable.

“Our ‘Safer Choice India’ award was welcomed by manufacturers and consumers alike. Now we would like to encourage the African automobile market to respond to the call for zero-star cars to be driven off Africa’s roads and we very much look forward to the first automaker in Africa to achieve the accolade of five-star ‘Safer Choice’ performance,” said David Ward, Global NCAP secretary general.

Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA, added that the award would represent “a unique opportunity for car manufactures and importers in Africa to highlight and market their commitment to vehicle safety, and road safety on the continent”.

“It will also allow them to differentiate themselves by making safer cars available to consumers. We are thrilled to partner with Global NCAP on this important Award and believe it is a critical step towards achieving our goals of making travel safer on our continent,” said Khumalo.