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N3 protest: Supply chain under attack, truck drivers call on companies to employ South Africans | News24



  • The Road Freight Association wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene after key cargo routes have been blocked throughout the nation.
  • The All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa accused truck homeowners of using overseas nationals.
  • The nationwide co-ordinator of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Association stated a number of lives have been being misplaced as a consequence of ongoing assaults on truck drivers. 

The Road Freight Association wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday to ask him to to urgently intervene in an ongoing blockade of key cargo routes throughout the nation.

In an open letter, Road Freight Association CEO Gavin Kelly advised Ramaphosa highway freight corporations have been being focused and that the complete provide chain was underneath assault.

Kelly stated the businesses have been being prevented from doing their enterprise by forces performing underneath the pretext that overseas nationals have been “taking jobs away from citizens”.

He stated the N3 had been blocked in each instructions for greater than 24 hours and that greater than 350 vans have been on the highway.

AS IT HAPPENS | Truckers cause disruptions along the N3

“Our drivers (and other staff on the trucks) are exposed to severe cold, possible violent looting, or other aggravated assault and do not have the means to survive for days stranded in a truck in the middle of nowhere.

“This leads to broken and completely destroyed lives, corporations, employment alternatives, financial exercise, items, automobiles, amenities, roads, and overseas funding to maneuver items by South Africa into Africa,” Kelly said.

Kelly added that other vital routes from Mpumalanga, across the Northern Cape – the N17, N11, N2, R59, and R74 – have experienced similar events and delays.

“This can’t proceed.”

“The financial affect – initially felt and carried/absorbed by all of the transporters caught on the varied routes – just isn’t solely huge (we’ve already misplaced round R25 million in truck working prices), however will cripple a lot of our smaller operators (88% of our members are SMMEs), may have a knock-on impact on all different business sectors (from manufacturing to retail), [and] will end in penalties for late supply, broken items, contract breach and even lack of enterprise and thereby, unemployment,” Kelly said, adding:

Ships will sail past to other ports – they will not wait for us to ‘get our act together’. We will lose trade and business to and through South Africa. Our ports will become ghost towns – and the surrounding businesses relating to those activities of trade and support will close.

“When you add up all of the harm and detrimental prices to the financial system, we’re effectively round R300 million already,” Kelly said.

On Thursday, truck drivers blocked the road in both directions on Van Reenen’s Pass and at Tugela Plaza.

Thania Dhoogra, operations manager at the N3 Toll Concession, said truck drivers also blocked the N3 Toll Route in a northbound direction in the vicinity of Tweedie in KwaZulu-Natal by midday.

“Please delay journey to the world till additional discover. Recovery is presently underneath means on Van Reenen Pass,” Dhoogra said.

It is believed that the protest was sparked by the employment of foreign nationals who brought the N3, between Warden and Villiers, to a standstill on Tuesday.

Drivers

Sifiso Nyathi from the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDF ASA), however, told News24 they supported truck drivers who blocked the N3.

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“The individuals who created this drawback…is the truck homeowners and never the drivers. It is the employers who created this blockage and protest, as a result of they’re smug and never ready to make use of South Africans.

“Yes, there are good employers who employ South Africans who comply with the law of this country, but there is a certain percentage of employers who think they are living on their own planet and can do whatever they like,” Nyathi stated.

Nyathi stated the issue would have by no means occurred if truck corporations and homeowners had employed South Africans.

“The employers do not want to change their behaviour, and they employ foreigners. We support those people [protesting]; it is not us but the employers.  To not employ South African people in their country, you create poverty in this country. Instead of pledging in the country and employing people of this country, you employ foreigners,” he stated.

Edward Muchatuta, the nationwide co-ordinator of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Association, stated the lives of truck drivers had been put forward of the financial system.

“The government is doing nothing to avert that situation because it is migrants who are being attacked. If it were migrants attacking locals, this would have been attended to.

“Our demand is for the South African authorities to intervene and cease ADTF from what they’re doing,” Muchatuta said.

He claimed he survived a near-death experience when armed men who were wearing balaclavas attacked him in his stationary truck on the R23 in Benoni, Gauteng, in July 2020.

READ | R74 en path to Free State closed by truckers

“What is extra vital just isn’t the sabotage of the financial system of South Africa, however the assaults on migrants. We are shedding lives. I do not assume any sum of money should buy life.

“Right now, we have orphaned children because their parents were killed. The lives we are losing are more important than any economic sabotage,” he stated.  

Kelly referred to as on Ramaphosa to instruct Minister of Police Bheki Cele in addition to defence and army veterans to “perform their duties”.

“Act now, or we will have no country left, no home. No place to educate and grow our children. The time is now to end the sabotage of the country and its economy by the ATDF-SA and their allies. Clear the routes.

“Arrest these drivers complicit on this exercise. Deal with the organisers of this sabotage, legal exercise, and organised crime. Get the logistics corridors open.”



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