Truck drivers offload sand on M9 during protest in Cape Town metro
Cape Town – Trucks have offloaded sand on the M9 between the N2 and Baden Powell Road, Western Cape traffic officials said on Monday.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said a truck was impounded for blocking the N2 from Somerset West to Cape Town during a nationwide truck drivers' strike, the SABC reported. The truck was taken to a storage facility in Ndabeni.
Africa said a number of freeways that were closed from early Monday morning due to the protest have been reopened.
The N2 and N7 have been affected, including a number of passes, with Africa asking motorists to use alternative routes. The Stellenbosch Arterial has also been affected by a truck blocking traffic on Saxdown Road.
However, the City of Cape Town said the N2 has been reopened at the Mew Way off-ramp near Khayelitsha and Baden Powell on-ramp following an earlier protest by truck drivers. The N2 outbound at Spine Road was also reopened after being blocked by a truck.
Du Toitskloof Pass is closed due to a truck accident and Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 is also closed to traffic due to trucks blocking the freeway completely, Africa said.
The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has distanced itself from the planned strike in the trucking industry on Monday and on Sunday.
"News of a nationwide strike in the industry has been widely circulated (on social media). However, we do not know the origins of the call for the strike because none of the legitimate unions within the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry have called for it," said Satawu media officer Zanele Sabela.
She said they were concerned for the safety of truck drivers and urged trucking companies to be cautious because in the past "strikes called by faceless people have often resulted in gruesome attacks on truck drivers", with trucks being set alight.
"We support all efforts by the South African Police Services to stump out attacks on the country’s trucking industry which are tantamount to economic sabotage," she said.
The Zambian government issued a travel advisory last week, warning its truck drivers to avoid travelling on South African roads.