Government’s inability to resolve the deep-rooted issue of the hiring of foreign national truck drivers has again resulted in protest action.
This as hundreds of truck drivers — claiming to be from the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF) — embarked on protest action in the Bayhead area of Durban.
Metro police spokesperson Supt Parboo Sewpersad said at least 300 protesters gathered on Langeberg Road in Bayhead, burning tyres and blockading parts of the road.
Hundreds of protesters, claiming to be from the All Truck Drivers Foundation #ATDF gathered along Langeberg Road in Durban’s #Bayhead area of the port on Monday, protesting against the hiring of foreign national truck drivers in SA. #TruckDriversShutDown @TimesLIVE
🎥: Supplied pic.twitter.com/yc3i6aNIoj
— Orrin Singh (@orrin417) November 23, 2020
He said the protesters claimed to be from the ATDF and were protesting against the hiring of foreign national truck drivers in the country.
“Motorists are advised to be very cautious on the roads within the city today as there is also planned protest action within the CBD.”
Sewpersad said members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association had planned to protest and chase foreigners out of the CBD on Monday.
“They have not yet been granted a permit for the planned protest,” said Sewpersad.
On Sunday evening, members from the ATDF embarked on protest action at the Marianhill toll plaza along the N3 highway.
There have been attacks on trucks across the province and country over the past few days.
— SA Trucker (@rsa_trucker) November 22, 2020
Dozens of trucks have been torched since last Thursday, fuelling fears that yet trucking war is looming.
The Road Freight Association (RFA) told the Sunday Times at least 30 truck drivers were attacked across SA last week alone.
Last year the Sunday Times reported how the onslaught against companies employing foreign truck drivers had left dozens dead or injured and caused R1.2bn in damages to trucks and cargo, according to the RFA.
By the middle of 2019 police reported 74 trucks burnt and damaged in the violence. The N3 Toll Concession, a private company that manages the road from Heidelberg to Cedara, said 50 vehicles had been torched on the highway since April 2018.
The ministers of police, transport, labour and home affairs held a sitting with all the relevant stakeholders regarding the ongoing violence in June last year.
Police minister Bheki Cele said violence within the sector amounted to deeds of “economic sabotage”.
No resolution has been found between the aggrieved parties.
Sipho Zungu, ATDF head, could not be reached for comment.
by Orrin Singh