Durban - The Road Freight Association has called on the government to address the issues of truck blockading on the N2 Pongola and to monitor truck activity.
It said all transport operators shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush as the reckless truck driver who crashed into a bakkie transporting schoolchildren.
This week, the community blockaded roads, preventing heavy freight vehicles from moving in the area.
“This follows on the heels of a meeting between the oPhongolo mayor, during which the community demanded close monitoring of trucks by the municipality to prevent a recurrence of the terrible incident last year which cost the country many young lives,” said Gavin Kelly, the CEO of the Road Freight Association.
He said the RFA had repeatedly called on the authorities (at various levels in government) to address the issue of non-compliant operators.
“Transporters are now faced with situations where routes are barred by communities, who, in themselves, are acting illegally, and those transporters who played no part in the recent tragedy.
“Some even having contributed freely to the communities in their hour of devastation and sorrow, are now tarred with the same brush and are prevented from operating their compliant, legal and safe businesses. This is neither fair nor in any way legal,” said Kelly.
In September, 20 people were killed in a horror crash in the area, 18 of them schoolchildren.
A report revealed that the driver of the truck had been travelling for 1.2km in the lane of oncoming traffic before colliding head-on with a bakkie.
The light delivery vehicle had been transporting the children home in the back of a bakkie.
Children as young as five were killed.
On Wednesday afternoon, truck driver Sibusiso Siyaya was denied bail in the Pongola Magistrate's Court.
Siyaya is charged with 20 counts of culpable homicide.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said the State had proved its case that Siyaya was a flight risk who might abscond if released on bail.
“The court found that it was not in the interest of justice to grant him bail and bail was thus refused. The matter was adjourned to 17 February for a DPP (director of public prosecutions) decision and further investigations.”