KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has expressed concern over the truck drivers’ strike in the province, but also called for calm.
Hundreds of truck drivers from the National Truck Drivers Founders and All Truck Drivers Foundation protested against the hiring of foreign national truck drivers in the country on Tuesday, 24 November 2020.
The demonstrations come in the wake of a number of trucks being torched in different parts of the country. In Gauteng alone, at least nine trucks were set alight on the N3 and R103. The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province has since launched an investigation.
Angry truck drivers, particularly in KZN have warned that as of 1 December 2020, no truck with a South African registration number, should be driven by a foreign national.
The KZN provincial government said it has escalated the matter to national government, as “this is not only a KwaZulu-Natal matter, but it has implications for the entire SADC region”.
Zikalala has instructed the task team assigned to address challenges in the road freight sector to immediately meet with the representatives of the concerned truck drivers.
KZN is the only province that has established a task team that is engaging with all stakeholders that are involved, including truck operators (truck owners) and truck drivers’ representatives (the National Truck Drivers Founders and All Truck Drivers Foundation).
The provincial government said it is committed to the transformation and stabilisation of the road freight and logistics industry, which is and critical sector of the provincial and national economy.
“We will continue to engage all the relevant role-players and work within the law to negotiate solutions meant to resolve the current conflict, and in the long-term, stabilise the industry within the ambit of the country’s Constitution,”KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
Zikalala reiterate that they will not allow lawlessness to threaten the economy, especially when the country has just emerged from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We thus call on those who have grievances to work with us and not to shut down our roads, torch trucks or even resort to attacking truck drivers, as has happened before.
“Where these violations take place, we expect the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster to respond decisively to maintain peace and order by dealing with criminality and unlawful activities in the province,” Zikalala said.