Several national and provincial routes are expected to be affected by the Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South African (ATDF-ASA) that is embarking on a nationwide shutdown this weekend.
In a video currently making rounds on social media, the ATDF-ASA called for a nationwide shutdown.
They also raised several demands, including that all foreign national truck drivers be removed immediately from the freight industry.
The movement also wants a 15% salary increase for all local truck drivers, workers without permits to be removed from trucks, and all trucks registered in South Africa to be driven by South Africans.
Road Freight Association chief executive officer Gavin Kelly told the Witness that they are aware of the shutdown expected.
The Road Freight Association represents the truck owners.
Kelly said law enforcement agencies have also been alerted about the shutdown and areas they need to focus on.
He furthermore told the media that they made a call to the police to ensure that the truck operators and the trucks are kept safe, and the ATDF members should not be allowed to perpetrate any scene of violence.
“Whenever there is such a shutdown, trucks end up being damaged and torched. Members are very concerned and we are tired of this thing dragging on for so long as the government seems to be failing to resolve this,” he said.
He said continued violence in the industry could lead to investors, importers, and exporters opting to use routes in neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, Transnet also warned that disruptive action is expected.
“The SAPS has advised that disruptive action is expected from ATDF (All truck Driver Forum) and affiliates on national and provincial roads this weekend, 26 and 27 Feb, which will be focused on halting truck movements.
“The blockade of national roads and highways, most likely using hijacked trucks, will likely take place in order to intensify the pressure on the government to address their grievance with the use of foreign truck drivers by South African trucking companies,” Transnet said in a statement.
The N3 and N2 are historically targeted, and there may also be disruptive actions at the Durban and Richards Bay ports.
KZN’s Mooi River Toll Plaza on the N3 has been a major hotspot in the county, with many trucks set alight in the area.
According to Transnet, contingency measures have been implemented by the various security clusters.
This includes continuous vehicle patrols and high visibility on the roads by law enforcement officers.