Truck drivers to face the might of the law

Friday, June 22, 2018

Police Minister General Bheki Cele has issued a strong warning against the “unruly behaviour” of truck drivers blockading roads.

This follows the arrest of 62 drivers and the impounding of 51 cargo carrying trucks on the N3 at Van Reenen's Pass in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

The truck drivers had blockaded the road, resulting in backed up traffic for several kilometres on Wednesday. It is believed that local drivers are behind these blockades, as they are protesting against the employment of foreign nationals as truck drivers at lower rates.

A multidisciplinary approach of law enforcement agencies -- including the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Road Traffic Infringement (RTI) and Medical Services from KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, firefighters and N3TC -- stabilised the situation and arrested the truck drivers.

“Police action will be very tough in maintaining law and order. This barbaric behaviour will not be tolerated. Swift and tough action by the police is once again an indication of our commitment to maintaining law and order in our country. No amount of pressure will divert our focus from stamping hard the authority of the State,” Cele said.

The Minister reminded the truck industry of his open door policy for progressive engagements.

“We have laws in this country and the full might of the law will be heard and felt. Our open door policy allows for progressive engagements at all times. Our boardrooms are forever open to engaging various industries on issues of national importance,” said Cele.

He said the trucking industry must be part of the solution, as drivers are raising genuine grievances.

“The employment processes of the industry must take into consideration the dynamics of the high unemployment rate of South Africans, while equally balancing the import of certain skills.”

The first such incident was recorded during the Easter weekend in Mooi River, followed by another a week later.

Earlier this week‚ a group of approximately 150 trucks from a Mpumalanga transport company stopped on either side of the N4 near Komatipoort in Mpumalanga as drivers embarked on a strike. -