Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has strongly condemned the blockade of the N3 freeway between Van Reenen and the Tugela Plaza by truck drivers at the weekend.
On Sunday evening, truck drivers are reported to have used their trucks to block the North and Southbound lanes of the N3 from 8pm.
Law enforcement agencies responded swiftly and impounded four trucks, arrested four truck drivers and cleared the road for traffic on Monday morning at 3am.
“This unfortunate action by truck drivers is not in keeping with the letter and spirit of our meeting held this past Friday, 11 January 2019, 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.
“This is nothing but negotiating in bad faith on the part of some of the leaders of the truck drivers,” said Nzimande in a statement.
The meeting agreed to constitute a team - led by the Department of Transport - with all affected departments, including the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Labour, the Bargaining Council and the representatives of truck drivers.
“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,” said Nzimande.
The Minister said government will not tolerate lawlessness, anarchy and sabotage demonstrated by some truck drivers who are determined to act with apparent impunity.
“I commend the 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,” said the Minister.
He urged truck drivers’ associations and truck owners to observe the rule of the law in pursuit of their trucking engagements and business.
As resolved on the Friday, 11 January meeting in Durban between the Minister and the trucking associations, the Department of Transport will convene a meeting with all involved government departments and truck drivers to resolve this impasse. - SAnews.gov.za