Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Transport Minister Blade Nzimande on Monday condemned the blocking of the N3 highway in Van Reenen and Tugela Plaza by protesting truck drivers.

On Sunday night, drivers used their trucks to cordon off the highway, causing traffic congestion and forcing motorists to use alternative routes. Four trucks were impounded and four truck drivers arrested, with police clearing the road by early Monday morning.

Nzimande last Friday met the leadership of the South African trucking industry in Durban to hear the challenges facing the sector, after embarked on random protests from lasts year against the hiring of foreign nationals at lower wages.

"This unfortunate (latest) action by truck drivers is not in keeping with the letter and spirit of our meeting held this past Friday, where I met with the leadership of the All Truck Drivers Foundation and the National Truck Drivers Association to address challenges facing South African truck drivers," Nzimande said.

"This is nothing but negotiating in bad faith on the part of some of the leaders of the truck drivers."

He said the parties to the meeting agreed to constitute a team led by his department, incorporating other departments including home affairs and labour, as well as the bargaining council and drivers' representatives.

"Guided by the law and applicable legislation, as government we remain steadfast to resolve this issue that is beginning to bedevil the South African trucking industry," Nzimande said.

The government would not tolerate the lawlessness, anarchy and sabotage demonstrated by some truck drivers, he added.

He applauded law enforcement agencies for "their swift response in arresting those responsible for this malicious act which seeks to undermine the efforts by government and truck drivers’ associations who are committed to resolve this matter within the ambit of the law".

African News Agency/ANA