The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) welcomes the agreement between Government, Business and Labour to ease the tensions in the trucking industry. The truck drivers have been repeatedly striking with no solutions. Recently the truck drivers protested and closed the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal.
SATAWU notes that the truck drivers who were on strike were not happy about the foreign nationals being given first preference while South African Drivers are left unemployed and overlooked by the freight companies. SATAWU is of the view that with the high rate of unemployment in this country, South African citizens must and should be given priority in all the sectors, as that will help reduce the high rate of unemployment that we are currently facing.
As much as we welcome the plan, we call for a swift implementation of the following:
• Appointment of task team for trucking industry • Enforcement of the Visa requirements • Need for consideration of all foreign driving licenses • Registration and compliance with South African labour laws • Registration of operators in term of Section 45 of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) • Review of the Traffic Register Number • Amendment of the National Road Traffic Regulation • Integrated joint multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations to end violence and blockages on national roads • Implement Driver Training Programme and • Consideration of the introduction of Operating Licenses for the industry
SATAWU believes that the freight sector plays a huge role in the country’s economy and therefore having truck drivers protesting has a negative impact on it. Furthermore, we stress the need for freight companies to prioritize eligible South Africans workers. Earlier on in the year, the Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) released a draft policy on National Labour Migration Policy and Employment Services Amendment Bill.
A statement was released from the union in response to this, wherein which we supported the notion that a quota system should be implemented in the industry. We further reiterate this stance, as an absence of such a regulatory mechanism will result in the continuation of the chaotic state of affairs in the sector in particular, and in the economy as a whole.
Issued by SATAWU
General Secretary Cde Jack Mazibuko: 082 660 4793 Deputy General Secretary Cde Anele Kiet: 071 021 1903 Head of Communications Amanda Tshemese : 062 945 7217