South Africa: Interministerial Committee Releases 'Action Plan' to Eradicate SA Truck Blockades

A map showing the N3, the highway between the port city of Durban and Johannesburg in South Africa.
analysis

The interministerial committee on the trucking and logistics industry on Monday released an 11-point 'action plan' in the hopes of eradicating truck blockades on SA's roads, such as those experienced last week when routes in several provinces were temporarily closed, including along the critical N3 that joins KwaZulu-Natal's port cities of Durban and Richards Bay to the interior.

South African truck drivers and emerging industry players have for the past five years periodically used articulated trucks to blockade routes while demanding that South African drivers and emerging players be prioritised over foreigners. They say they are shunned by SA employers because of demanding decent wages, while foreigners work for a pittance.

The blockades have seriously disrupted supply chain routes -- up to 80% of the country's freight is estimated to be hauled via road -- bruised investor confidence, cost the industry financially, and have been termed "economic sabotage" by ministers and the business sector.

While last week's blockades were free of violence, protest action often turns violent, with trucks thought to be driven by foreigners torched and goods looted. Some drivers -- including South Africans -- have been killed in the violence.

Industry players -- who are part of a...

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