Two more trucks have reportedly been set on fire on the N3 freeway at Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal, on Tuesday afternoon.
— SA Trucker (@rsa_trucker) November 24, 2020
At least 25 trucks have been set alight in the past few days.
According to All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDFASA), a national shutdown – scheduled to take place from 23 November to 25 November – was a protest against the employment of foreign national drivers in the SA trucking industry.
“Truck owners prefer foreign national drivers because they don’t want to comply with the labour law and with the main collective agreement of the NBCRFLI [National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry] because foreign national drivers are cheap labour for them and work like slaves with long hours for them because foreign drivers do not complain.
“We, as ATDFASA, have talked about this for more than three years but no change has been done and the same issue continues,” read a statement from the organisation.
On Monday evening, a 45-year-old male employee of a trucking company in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, was shot dead near the N3 onramp towards Heidelberg. His truck set was then set alight.
Meanwhile, the Road Freight Association (RFA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the protests.
“Again, the road freight companies 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 South Africa into Africa.
“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.”