Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has learned with great disappointment of the continuation of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal's trucking industry.
On the 3rd of June 2019, an inter-ministerial team of ministers came together in Durban for three days, to meet stakeholders and to address the violent attacks and their impact on freight transport, particularly on the N3 Highway.
A plan was devised, which included the establishment of a multi-disciplinary rapid response team, the cessation of illegal employment of undocumented migrants, the implementation of skills development initiatives for local drivers, the creation of a database of unemployed drivers and a review of work permit legislation.
Despite the intervention, violence continued to flare, threatening to render the N3 unusable, a situation that is clearly unacceptable. There is to be no terror on our roads. Such activities do not only terrorize the freight sector but the general populace which uses our roads and is entitled to safe use, free of violence.
Minister Mbalula has echoed calls for stronger policing action and for law enforcement to be doubled along the highway and connecting routes, saying: "The
interdepartmental task team is making progress and should be given room to do its work - violence and terror is not how we are going to solve this". Mbalula added that attacks on public roads must be upgraded to a higher category of criminality especially since government is engaged to resolve the legitimate concerns of local drivers.
The Minister says acts of arson undermine the genuine concerns of industry players and has urged perpetrators to desist or face the full might of the law.
Minister Mbalula has also pledged his support to law enforcement officials, calling for the perpetrators of the arson attacks to be brought to book swiftly. "We cannot allow for any parts of the country to be declared a no go zone", said the Minister.
Issued by: Department of Transport