NEWS & ANALYSIS

More must be done to stop truck attacks – Andrew Whitfield

DA MP calls for activation of National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure to deal with a problem

DA calls for activation of National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure to halt attacks on logistics sector and protect economic infrastructure

2 September 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes with grave concern the outbreaks of violent lawlessness targeting the economy across South Africa. The past 14 days have been characterised by looting, attacks on foreign nationals, the burning of trucks, and violent riots.

In part, these incidents are due to a failing economy in which more than 10 million South Africans cannot find work or have given up looking for work. While the national Government throws billions in bailouts at failing state-owned entities, the national fiscus grows weaker by the day.

To maintain law and order, which is a key requirement for stability and therefore economic growth, we need a co-ordinated approach to actively monitor and rapidly respond and end any violence or disturbances which could cause destruction of property, a loss of life, or further harm South Africa’s economy.

The DA will, therefore, write to the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to request that he activate the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), in response to these increasing incidences.

The violent truck protests across the country have seen at least 20 trucks per week torched in June, and several highway blockades as recently as today. Truck torching has involved several other violent incidents in the past few months, including bricks hurled through the windows a driver's truck in the Eastern Cape, a delivery truck that was petrol bombed in Somerset West, and a driver who died of his injuries after his truck was petrol bombed near Touws River. An attack on trucks is an attack on the economy.

The NATJOINTS is empowered to coordinate all security and law enforcement operations throughout the country and is therefore well placed to first anticipate and if necessary, to respond timeously to incidents of criminality and disorder when they occur.

It is time the Government acts to curb the increasing number of violent attacks on our economy across the country which is compromising stability, the flow of goods and ultimately jobs. Activating the NATJOINTS is in the best interest of the safety and economy of South Africa and her people.

Issued by Andrew Whitfield, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 2 September 2019