Londiwe Xulu
journalist
2 minute read
28 Feb 2022
06:01

Protesting truck drivers set to march to Pietermaritzburg

Londiwe Xulu

Members of the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDFASA) are set march to the offices of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistic Industry in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

Members of the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDFASA) are set march to the offices of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistic Industry in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

Secretary of the ATDFASA, Sifiso Nyathi, said they will be marching to hand over their memorandum of demands. Nyathi was speaking to The Witness on Sunday after truck drivers embarked on a national strike over the employment of foreign nationals in the country.

Their demands include the removal of all foreign national truck drivers from the freight industry with immediate effect; a 15% salary increase for all local drivers; for workers without permits to be removed from trucks; and for all trucks to be registered in South Africa to be driven by South Africans.

Peaceful strike

Nyathi said although some of drivers continued to work yesterday, a number of them were either at home or had parked the truck at the depots.

He said their strike was peaceful and they were not blocking the roads, forcing drivers out of the trucks or burning trucks.

He said,

“At least 20% of drivers were on the road and no one stopped them from working.”

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies in KwaZulu-Natal were on high alert ensuring there were disruptions on the N3 or N2.

On Sunday, spokesperson for Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI), Zinhle Mali said no disruptions had been reported from the morning but the law enforcement officers continued checking and monitoring every allegation of protests because they did want the truckers to slip through.

There were, however, reports of roads beings blocked in other parts of the country, including Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Truck drivers last embarked on a national truck shutdown in October last year with the same demands of the removal of foreign nationals from the industry. They blocked the N3 with their trucks, causing a huge traffic congestion. According to the police, 12 driver drivers were arrested.

‘12 arrested not truck drivers’

On Sunday, Nyathi said their organisation never followed the case because the 12 people arrested were not truck drivers. He said they heard the group was out on bail. “Truck drivers only blocked the roads with trucks but they were not burning them.

“We know there will always be people who’ll want to disrupt what we are trying to do and cause chaos and that causes the public to start looking into negative things instead of listening to our demands,” said Nyathi.