By Hajira Khota 27.10.2021
The N3 highway in Harrismith has been shut as part of a nationwide truck driver protest. The demonstration has caused major heavy traffic between Montrose and Harrismith, as well as delays at Tugela Plaza in the direction of Gauteng.
According to Sifiso Nyathi, secretary-general of the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ADTF), the state-wide strike by truck drivers is aimed at pressuring freight companies to stop employing foreign nationals. He stated that the ATDF was not behind the protect action, which was purportedly organised by the truck drivers themselves, but that the organisation did support the mass action.
According to the Road Freight Association, CEO, Gavin Kelly who spoke to Radio Islam International, claims that the government has pledged for years to handle the issue of illegal foreigners in any field, but has failed to do so.
Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, met with truck drivers on Monday who brought the N10 near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape to a standstill since Sunday. He received a letter from truckers expressing their dissatisfaction with the hiring of foreign nationals as drivers, as well as other demands.
Minister Mbalula said in a statement released on Tuesday that all parties involved, including the government, truck drivers, and small truck operators, have agreed to a long-term solution within the legal framework.
An analyst warned that the truck drivers’ activities might harm investments in the country, which was already dealing with a number of difficulties such as high unemployment, social tensions, and xenophobia.
Following the riots in July, Agri-SA stated that it was necessary to re-establish calm and confidence, particularly in international markets. The blockade would inflict more havoc on the economy.
[LISTEN] to the podcast here