Durban – Two trucks were set alight in Montclair, south of Durban, on Monday as police went on high alert for a truck drivers’ strike.
According to police the trucks were set alight at 2am.
Police have since increased the number of officers and patrols along major routes in KwaZulu-Natal.
The police precautions come in the wake of the burning of trucks in Kokstad and Ashburton at the weekend.
SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant- Colonel Thulani Zwane said: “We have intensified our deployments along the major routes to prevent any disruptions and criminality. This will enable us to respond quicker and arrest the perpetrators should anything occur.”
Metro police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersad said officers had been deployed on the N2 and N3, because of the expected strike.
“There is full deployment on the N3 from Cato Ridge down, and on the N2 in both directions,” Sewpersad said.
On Sunday night a joint statement by the Ministers of Employment and Labour, Police, Transport and Home Affairs revealed that they had convened an urgent meeting in order to receive a report on the progress made to address the continued violence in the sector as well as plotting a way forward.
The Road Freight and Logistics sector truck drivers associations distanced themselves from the planned strike of the 1st and 2nd of September.
“However, acts of threats and violence including the burning of trucks took place,” the statement said.
The Ministers condemned the ongoing violence and agreed that it is nothing but economic sabotage threatening the economic viability of the SADC region. The meeting emphasised that the acts of sabotage are spearheaded by criminal elements that are responsible for the blockages, burning of trucks and assets, as well as the intimidation and killing of truck drivers in the sector.
The outcome of these discussions were as follows:
- Law enforcement will ensure that the authority of the state is not undermined and increase visibility in violent hotspots.
- The Ministers agreed that through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, regional counterparts should be engaged to address this matter.
- There will be continuous joint inspections taking place in all provinces to ensure compliance in the sector.
- The task team has agreed to develop a clear action plan and provide regular updates on the progress made to the joint inter-ministerial task team.
The meeting further noted that the events are turning more violent and criminal and that the South African Police Service will continue to act against any acts of lawlessness.
Last week, the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria issued a travel advisory, warning Zambian truck drivers to park their trucks in safe places as from today to avoid loss of property – and death.
The warning came after an unidentified association allegedly representing South African truck drivers called for a nationwide strike as from today, said the Zambian High Commission spokesperson, Naomi Nyawali.
Road Freight Employers Association spokesperson Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said they were aware of the strike action and that their members would have contingency plans in place, where necessary.
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