President Ramaphosa has become the latest to condemn the recent arson attacks on trucks in South Africa. The road freight industry has been experiencing a wave of violence and attacks, particularly in the form of trucks being set alight.
The attacks come as truck drivers have expressed outrage over the hiring of their foreign counterparts, saying they were being overlooked. The truck drivers have been taking to the streets, demanding action from government and threatening to bring the industry to its knees.
In one of the latest incidents, a driver from KwaZulu-Natal was killed and his truck torched in Leondale, east of Johannesburg. While the circumstances remain unclear, a second man was also attacked and sustained gunshot wounds.
There have been concerns over the blood being shed as a result of the attacks as well as calls for government to intervene.
The president has sent his condolences to the loved one of those who’ve lost their lives in the horrific attacks.
“The President also offers his wishes for a speedy recovery to drivers who have sustained physical injuries and psychological trauma during these incidents,” Ramaphosa’s office said in a statement.
At least 30 trucks were set alight in a space of more than a week
RAMAPHOSA WANTS REPORT ON TRUCK VIOLENCE
The presidency further said it was concerned about the effect of this violence on owners and employees of the affected trucking companies, as well as the economic disruption caused by these acts just as the country is focused on rebuilding the economy.
“As South Africans, we cannot possibly tolerate the mindless and bloody lawlessness with which the road freight industry is being targeted,” Ramaphosa.
“We cannot tolerate this loss of life and destruction of property.”
Ramaphosa has also directed Ministers of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, Transport (Fikile Mbalula), Home Affairs (Aaron Motsoaledi) and Police (Bheki Cele)– to submit a report to him on the matter.
The All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDFASA) has been leading a national shutdown from 23 November to 25 November.
“Truck owners prefer foreign national drivers because they don’t want to comply with the labour law and with the main collective agreement of the NBCRFLI [National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry] because foreign national drivers are cheap labour for them and work like slaves with long hours for them because foreign drivers do not complain. We as ATDFASA have talked about this for more than three years but no change has been done and the same issue continues,” read a statement from the organisation.