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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Truck drivers’ protest leads to sporadic disturbances, no major delays

Amid truck drivers' protests, the RFA confirms sporadic disturbances on routes but praises SAPS for preventing violence and maintaining peace.

Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association (RFA), confirmed there have been sporadic disturbances on routes due to the truck drivers’ protest, but no significant delays have occurred.

He praised the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their swift response in ensuring no violence has taken place and for maintaining the peace when protesters tried to intimidate or coerce non-participating drivers.

Truck drivers’ protest

The RFA emphasised the importance of exercising the right to protest responsibly and expressed hope that any further protests will remain peaceful, allowing the logistics supply chain to continue operating.

Meanwhile, most of the incidents were limited to KwaZulu-Natal, with protesters stoning and shooting at trucks.

According to police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda, three incidents were reported in the eThekwini area. Netshiunda said traffic was not disrupted and officials will continue to monitor the situation.

‘National shutdown’

As previously reported, police and state security services have assured South African motorists that they are closely monitoring the “national shutdown” announced by the truck drivers’ protest organizers.

The protest is expected to put pressure on the supply chain, as trucks transport billions of rands worth of goods across South Africa due to the country’s failing rail network.

The truck drivers’ protest is focused on the employment of foreign drivers in the industry.

READ: ‘National shutdown’: Truck drivers gear up for protest on SA’s major routes

Employment concerns

Mandla Mngomezulu, deputy chairperson of the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF) and Allied South Africa, said concerns about foreign drivers being preferred for employment have been ignored for years.

The issue has been raised by local driver associations for the past three years.

Mngomezulu explained an inter-ministerial committee consisting of various government departments – including Transport, Home Affairs, and Labour and Employment – was established in 2021 to address the matter, but no progress has been made to resolve the issue.