COSATU welcomes the arrests of alleged perpetrators linked to the heinous torching of long-distance trucks

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the apprehension and the charges laid against some of the alleged perpetrators who have been involved in the torching of long-distance trucks in Mpumalanga. These criminals have wreaked havoc over the past weeks. The extensive damage they caused to the transport and logistics industry is a further blow our fragile economy can ill afford. They have threatened the lives of the truck drivers and their families.

The Federation commends our law enforcement agencies for working around the clock to deal with this national security threat. We appreciate much more needs to be done to tackle what appears to be include the involvement of criminal syndicates. The Police Service, National Defence Force and Prosecuting Authority work under serious pressures of budget cuts, limited resources and critical personnel vacancies. Government needs to end reckless budget cuts which suffocate and limit law enforcement agencies from fulfilling their constitutional mandates.

These austerity cuts have drastically slowed down the recruitment rate of police officers over the past 2 decades fuelled its turnover rate, resulting in the SAPS head count declining from over 208 000 to 172 000.

We urge the police and the courts to persevere and continue making advances in this matter, despite the countless backlogs and resource constraints clogging the system.

The economy is already under severe strain. Workers cannot afford any further job losses. These acts of violence are also an indication of needed interventions to address gaps in the transport and logistics sector to protect drivers, trucks and the economy. We hope stakeholders in the industry and government will continue to engage to avoid a repeat of these incidents, especially since this is not the first time this has happened.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687