Logistics and supply chain industry under attack, says RFA

The blockade on the N3 this week by unhappy truck drivers has added more pressure on the struggling logistics and supply chain industry which continues to face challenges as a result of a weakening economy.

The illegal road closure on Thursday, by the truck drivers who accuse the industry of hiring foreigners, has resulted in many logistics companies losing thousands of rands.

CEO at Road Freight Association (RFA) Gavin Kelly has since written an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa stating that the industry is under attack.

“The whole logistics supply chain is under attack, again. All major routes are being targeted,” wrote Kelly.

“The N3 has been blocked for more than 24 hours and this route links one of the busiest ports in Africa to many countries that rely on a well-functioning, safe and efficient corridor. Mr President, put an end to the sabotage of the country and its economy and deal with the organisers of this sabotage, criminal activity, and organised crime.

He continued: “Instruct the ministers of police, transport and defence to perform their duties. Ensure the rule of law and the right to free movement and the operation of economic activity. The RFA asks you to instruct your cabinet to act now and decisively.”

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula issued a statement saying his department is on the verge of reaching an agreement with the truck drivers.

Mbalula said: “I have been working around the clock with ministers of labour and employment and home affairs to address the issues raised by the truck drivers and small truck operators, and we have noted the complaints about the sluggish pace of implementing interventions in areas that we have agreed on.

“A follow-up engagement is scheduled for Sunday with all stakeholders.”

He added that the department condemns the blockade and encourages everyone to take responsibility in ensuring that economic activity is not hindered, saying this will lead to job losses due to economic downturn.

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