Truckers call off threatened shutdown of national roads (update)

Truck drivers angry over the hiring of foreigners say Monday they have decided to call off their planned national shutdown of all South Africa’s national roads.

Police and soldiers are on high alert across South Africa ahead of any shutdown by the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATSD-ASA). They Sunday called for a shutdown on all major routes around the country, including the N1, N2 and N3.

IOL reports National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure spokesman Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, said there would be zero tolerance towards threats, intimidation and closure of roads.

But in a Monday statement to ATDF-ASA members, leaders said the shutdown had been “suspended” and they would be closely monitoring the implementation of a plan that was discussed in a Sunday meeting with employers.

The forum further urged truck drivers to refrain from any illegal activity.

“Law enforcement agencies are on high alert to ensure there are no criminal activities and that law-abiding citizens are not inconvenienced. We reiterate our stance, that no lawlessness and any form of criminality will be tolerated,” Mosikili said.

Mosikili further called on drivers to express their grievances within the confines of the law, IOL repors.

Fidelity Services security group said the planned shutdown follows a protracted six year history of violence within the trucking sector.

Tensions in the industry had been building since 2018 over the perceived employment of foreign truck drivers.

“The ATDF-ASA contends that several trucking companies in the country routinely and illegally hire foreign truck drivers at a lower cost to increase profits. As a result, South African truck drivers are left jobless,” Fidelity said.

The Road Freight Association further urged drivers to be on alert, and to inform police if their operations were affected.

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