Call for Ramaphosa to intervene as concerns mount over trucking violence
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been called on to intervene in the ongoing conflict between truckers in SA, which has remained unresolved for the past three years.
This after a series of arson attacks saw more than 30 trucks set alight within the past week.
Road Freight Association (RAF) CEO Gavin Kelly, penned a letter to Ramaphosa on Monday, after members of the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF) and the National Truck Drivers Federation (NTDF) marched in Durban against the hiring of foreigners as truck drivers.
“Again, the road freight companies (truckers) find themselves being attacked by forces under the pretext of foreign nationals 'taking jobs away from citizens'. This results in damaged and totally destroyed lives, companies, employment opportunities, economic activity, goods, vehicles, facilities, roads and foreign investment to move goods through SA into Africa.”
Kelly said the lack of action from the government created the impression that it was fine with this form of protest action.
“This is not what we all envisaged as economic recovery. We are concerned that the lack of action from government creates the impression that it is complacent regarding this type of protest action — given the fact that the minister of police has done nothing of substantive value to prevent and stop this type of activity.”
He said the government's interventions thus far have been reactive and the latest call for a plan to address this, through a co-ordinated national approach, is scheduled for discussion after further protest action by the ATDF — planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This matter has been with us for over three years now and nothing — other than the shifting of blame and endless talks — has transpired. No resolution has been forthcoming.”
Kelly added that various stakeholders had met with the government on numerous occasions to find a resolution, but various government agencies have not played their part by implementing certain measures effectively nor urgently enough to address the matter.
“These attacks are being carried out with military precision, indicating that there is a strong co-ordinated leadership element with some level of formal military training. We are not clear on what the objective is, but the destabilisation of the country seems to be large part of this.”
“This is sabotage, this is outright war on the SA economy and its citizens. We need to stop this now and arrest and hold those perpetrating these attacks accountable for their deeds.”
He said should an amicable resolution not be found soon, it would escalate into widespread confrontation as frustrated, angry and financially-stressed citizens take matters into their own hands to protect their employees, assets, property and the sustainability of their businesses.
“Mr President — we respectfully require your urgent intervention, through your call to all stakeholders to partner in finding a solution to this crisis. While we all must remain mindful of not entertaining rogue groups who will try to take advantage of situations, we must create an opportunity for all stakeholders to participate.”
On Monday members of the ATDF joined forces with the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA) who stormed through Durban's CBD demanding the removal of foreign nationals operating in the area.
According to RAF, a meeting has been scheduled with the ATDF for December 1.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.