NEWS & ANALYSIS

Burning of trucks on N3 spells disaster for KZN economy - IFP

Party also calls for the urgent deployment of the army to high-risk spots on highway

Burning of trucks on N3 spells disaster for KZN economy

Hon Velenkosini Hlabisa
Leader of the Official Opposition in KZN

The IFP is concerned about the burning of trucks on the N3. Violence that took place over the past weekend which resulted in more than 15 trucks being destroyed on the N3 is totally unacceptable.

Economic reports already suggest that the economy of our country has gone down again in the first quarter of 2019. This means more job losses on the already strained economy which stands at 27. 6% of unemployed people in the country.  The IFP disagrees with the Truck Owners Associations that truck driving is a scarce skill which warrants employment of foreign nationals in these positions, but also, denounce violence in resolving this impasse.

Violence that has ensued over this matter will only strain relations between South Africa and its neighbours; it will put our economy at risk and will lead to more job losses as more foreign companies will stop transporting their goods through the South African corridor. 

We support the recent meetings of stakeholders which was intended to amicably resolve issues, but urge urgent action on the resolutions taken; And

We urge government to strictly monitor the labour laws of our country by inter alia, intensifying usage of labour inspectors in private companies to ensure strict compliance with employment regulations prescribed.

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IFP calls for deployment of army to deter torching of trucks in KZN

Hon. Steven Moodley MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Transport

The Inkatha Freedom Party calls for the urgent deployment of the army to the high-risk spots of the N3 following the alleged petrol bombing of several trucks, forcing authorities to close the freeway.

It is time that government regards the torching of trucks as a crisis and intervenes by deploying the South African National Defence Force to effectively deal with those responsible.

The IFP believes that 'terrorists' can no longer be allowed to continue sabotaging and holding our economy to ransom. There is no possible justification for this gratuitous destruction of property and the government must act decisively and deal with those involved. We cannot simply sit back and be spectators while the economy of our province is at risk. The fact that the flow of traffic to and from Durban has been disrupted is testament to the disruption of economic activity. This resulted in delays with trucks headed for Durban and Johannesburg.

The IFP is of the view that the dismal failure of the former Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, the KZN MEC of Transport, Mxolisi Kaunda and the former KZN Premier to deal decisively with truck driver's grievances and their casual attitude towards solving this issue when it first started has led to this crisis. We strongly urge the newly elected government officials not to continue the culture of knee-jerk reactions when it comes to providing urgent solutions.

The IFP reiterates its call for stringent verification of truck drivers especially foreign nationals. The Department of Transport in partnership with relevant stakeholders in the transport industry should also conduct research into the number of immigrants employed in the industry so as to effectively regulate and control it. We also extend our calls to all South Africans to stop glorifying hooliganism and thuggery in our society. We believe that peace and order must be maintained at all times and law breakers must face the full might of the law.

Whereas it's a constitutional right for every South African citizen to raise concerns, the looting and destruction of property and loss of innocent lives is contrary to our constitution. The IFP urges employers to work towards speedily resolving the grievances of truck drivers whose main complaint is the employment of foreign nationals in the trucking industry.

Statements issued by the IFP, 4 June 2019