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Durban - Thirteen of the 19 drivers employed at the beleaguered company Sagekal Logistics, whose truck caused the horror Field’s Hill accident earlier this month, are foreign nationals, the Sunday Tribune has been reliably informed.
This has prompted a scathing attack on the owner Gregory Govender by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, claiming that Govender is “abusing his workers to protect his bottom line”.
It comes after a second truck belonging to Sagekal Logistics was pulled off the road when it failed a brake test this week. On Thursday the truck was impounded when it failed baseline roadworthiness tests administered by traffic officers, after it had run out of diesel on the N3 near Pietermaritzburg.
An examination of the truck revealed a diminished capacity to effectively brake, with disc linings worn down on both the horse and the trailer. Uneven wear on the left and right hand sides of the truck also led to its immediate suspension.
The driver, Senzeni Makara, a 28-year-old Zimbabwean woman, was detained and released. She is among the 13 foreign drivers employed by the Phoenix company.
The drivers earn an estimated R1 200 per return trip from Durban to Joburg and could do at least three trips a week, according to an impeccable source.
Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga criticised Govender.
“Transport operators like him (Govender) are unscrupulous and they only want to hire foreign nationals who do not enjoy the protection of a union. They (Sagekal) want to pay people as little as possible so they can maximise their profits,” he said. He added that the suspension of the second truck spoke to the fact that vehicles were poorly maintained. “We will be keeping a close eye on this company and its employees,” Masoga warned.