KZN premier to meet with truckers, freight industry over ongoing violence
Durban: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala is set to meet with truck drivers and stakeholders in the road freight industry, in a bid to bring an end to the ongoing violence plaguing the industry.
In the last two weeks, several trucks have been petrol bombed and drivers attacked.
On Monday, several members of the All Truck Drivers Foundation joined MK Veterans on a march in Durban, calling for foreign nationals to be sent back to their countries. The group claimed that foreign nationals were stealing the jobs of locals and were involved in criminal activity.
In Monday's protest, group gave government an ultimatum that "no truck with a South African registration should enter the harbour or driven by a foreign national, from December 1, 2020."
The provincial government has escalated the matter to national government as this is not only a KwaZulu-Natal matter, but it has implications for the entire SADEC region.
Zikalala said the Department of Labour and Home Affairs are currently involved in a process of developing a legislation that will address the issue of the employment of foreign nationals in all sectors of the economy, including the road freight sector," he said.
He has, furthermore, instructed the task team – assigned with the responsibility of addressing the 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, which is engaging with all stakeholders involved, including the truck operators’ and truck drivers’ representatives. We are 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 current conflict and, in the long-term, stabilise the industry within the ambit of the country’s Constitution. We must, however, reiterate that we will not allow lawlessness to threaten our economy, more so as we emerge 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 of government to respond decisively, to maintain peace and order by dealing with criminality and unlawful activities in the province," Zikalala said.