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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

‘No foreign nationals’: Road closures expected as truckers protest

Truckers will down tools on Sunday to protest the 'use of foreign truck drivers by SA trucking companies'. The following routes may be affected.

The South African Police Service (Saps) has warned of impending “disruptive action” from the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF) as members rally for a protest over the weekend.

ATDF secretary-general Sifiso Nyathi on Thursday confirmed all members will join the protest on Sunday, 27 February.

Truckers aim to halt movement on national roads – and intend to block road and highways.

Truckers protest, 27 February

‘Foreign’ truck drivers

The protest is meant to “intensify the pressure on goverment to address [truckers’] grievance with the use of foreign truck drivers by South African trucking companies”.

Members will march to bargaining councils, and demand “the whole freight industry to have zero percent of foreign nationals”.

Nyathi added: “It is a common fact that we have hundreds of local truck drivers who are unemployed just because the foreign nationals have occupied those positions”.

‘Empty promises’

Late on Thursday, ATDF-CT members delivered a memorandum to Cape Town port. Members of ATDF-ASA said they are “tired of empty promises”.

Truckers also demand 15% salary increase for all South African truck drivers.

ATDF demands foreign national truck drivers “be removed from the freight industry with immediate effect”, and that “workers without permits are removed from trucks”.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwean truck drivers warn against calls for foreigners to leave SA

Road closures: What to expect

“On Sunday, drivers will park their trucks either at the depot or at the truck stop for the rest of the day,” said Nyathi.

The N3 and N2 seem likely to be targetted over the weekend, with Transnet warning of “disruptive actions at the Durban and Richard Bay ports”.

Road Freight Association chief executive officer Gavin Kelly said they are aware of the shutdown, and expressed concern over potential violent incidents.

He called on authorities to keep “truck operators and trucks safe”, adding that ATDF members should not be allowed to “perpetrate any scene of violence”.

In response, Transnet said continency measures have been implemented by security clusters, such as patrols and high visibility by authorities.

Transnet’s Nokwanda Ndlela advises customers to “proceed with caution and if possible, rather hold back RMT (Road Motor Transport) activities during the weekend.”

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