Photo: SA Trucker Facebook

DURBAN - The DA on Monday called on KwaZulu-Natal Transport and Community Safety MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, to take urgent steps to ensure the safety of province’s road users as attacks on trucks and truck drivers continued.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a truck was set on fire on the Orthmann Road on-ramp in Pietermaritzburg and fortunately, the driver escaped unharmed.

Shortly after this incident, another truck was set alight on the N3 near the Mooi Toll Plaza, and the driver was injured but is in a stable condition.

The attacks are believed to be related to the high number of foreigners being employed as opposed to local unemployed drivers, which the local trucking industry has been raising for a number of months. 

Sharon Hoosen, the DA spokesperson on transport in KZN, said Kaunda has been silent on this issue. 

"Certainly, he does not need permission to step in and provide intervention in the form of additional resources to stop this brazen conduct, which is also harming our provincial economy. The question is – what is he waiting for?" Hoosen said.

"These incidents have been going on since April last year, with more than 15 trucks burnt on the N3 this weekend alone, yet no one has been arrested let alone brought to book. The reality is that criminals are taking control of our roads with law enforcement nowhere to be seen." 

KZN department of transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane was not immediately available for comment as his phones rand unanswered.

Hoosen said that the DA expects the MEC to act now and engage with stakeholders, including The All Truck Drivers’ Forum, freight transport companies, as a matter of urgency.

"The lives of all KZN’s road users must be a priority. The DA will continue to add pressure were needed to ensure that MEC Kaunda steps up to make our roads safer," Hoosen said.

African News Agency (ANA)