Employment and Labour, Police, Transport and Home Affairs Ministers have condemned the threat of violence and burning of trucks in the logistics sector over the weekend.
This was despite Road Freight and Logistics sector truck driver associations distancing themselves from the planned strike of yesterday and today.
The three Ministers – Thulas Nxesi, Bheki Cele, Fikile Mbalula and Aaron Motsoaledi – urgently met on Sunday evening to receive a report on the progress made to address the continued violence in the sector as well as to plot a way forward.
“The Ministers condemned the ongoing violence and agreed that it is nothing but economic sabotage threatening the economic viability of the SADC region. The meeting emphasised that the acts of sabotage are spearheaded by criminal elements that are responsible for the blockages, burning of trucks and assets, as well as the intimidation and killing of truck drivers in the sector,” the Ministers said in a joint statement.
The outcome of these discussions are as follows:
Law enforcement will ensure that the authority of the state is not undermined and increase visibility in violent hotspots.
The Ministers agreed that through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, regional counterparts should be engaged to address this matter.
There will be continuous joint inspections taking place in all provinces to ensure compliance in the sector.
The task team has agreed to develop a clear action plan and to provide regular updates on the progress made to the joint inter-ministerial task team.
The meeting further noted that the events are turning more violent and criminal; the South African Police Service will continue to act against any acts of lawlessness. It was also noted that South Africa is not a xenophobic country and whoever is found on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with.
Numerous trucks were set alight over the weekend, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. In June, at least 20 trucks per week were burnt in the space of three weeks in previous protests.