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Small businesses march against Telesure

Small panel beating and towing companies have accused Telesure of unfair business practices.

The SA Auto Repairer and Salvage Association protest in Montague Gardens in Cape Town on 5 March 2013. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Auto Repairer and Salvage Association on Tuesday called for an end to unfair service practices by big insurance companies.

The body, which represents more than 100 small to medium panel beating and towing businesses, held a march in Montague Gardens earlier in the day.

The association accused Telesure of robbing small panel beating and towing businesses of jobs and livelihoods.

They claim many small companies have either had to retrench staff or close shop in recent years.

Protesters added some businesses used to have staff compliments of 30, but now had around eight members of staff.

The association blamed insurance giant Telesure, the parent company of First for Women and Auto & General, for forcing policy holders to only make use of certain towing companies and panel beaters.

The association handed over a memorandum of concerns to the company.