Transport minister and stakeholders commit to end road blockades

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Labour Department and the trucking industry have agreed that road blockades are a thing of the past.

This after angry truck drivers brought the N3 highway to a standstill on Thursday last week, causing a congestion near the Van Reenen’s Pass.

The blockage, by truck drivers who accuse the trucking industry of employing foreigners, disrupted some of the alternative routes between Johannesburg and Durban, leading to the Road Freight Association (RFA) declaring that an estimated R300-million had already been lost in the economy due to blockades.

After a meeting on Sunday, the parties involved signed a binding agreement to ensure that they comply with its provisions and respect the rights of other road users.

Mbalula said together with business and labour, they are committed to work on issues raised and to put an end to road blockages.

Mbalula said: “In an effort to address the grievances raised by South African truck drivers and to bring to a stop the blockade of the national and secondary roads within the Republic of South Africa, which all parties condemn as unlawful and harmful to the economy, the parties agree that all our members will comply with its provisions, respect the rights of all road users.

“The phenomenon has caused and continues to cause untold hardship, disruption, and loss of property.”

The RFA has welcomed the agreement and said it was willing to work with the ministerial task team in implementing the agreement.

“The RFA supports all efforts to stop the disruption of the logistics chain. The root causes have been identified, and the proposed implementation plan clearly identifies who, what, when and how these causes must be addressed and resolved,” said Gavin Kelly, the CEO of RFA

“Again, the RFA called on the various authorities tasked with registration, confirmation of compliance and the monitoring of adherence to the conditions of employment prescribed for the road freight sector to apply themselves urgently to their tasks.

“This will resolve the base causes for the protests by the All-Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa and the employment of illegal [without work visas] foreigners.”

 

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