Cabinet has welcomed the 11-point action plan set up to deal with road blockages and the recruitment of foreign nationals as truck drivers.
The plan, which was developed by the Road and Freight Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) in partnership with road and freight industry stakeholders, promotes the enforcement of visa requirements and compliance with labour laws, among other things.
The IMC was formed to deal with the escalating road blockages and protests by disgruntled South African truck drivers.
“Protests and road blockages adversely impact mobility, scare foreign investors and most importantly, negatively impact the economy and essential supply chains which use affected corridors,” said Minister in The Presidency Mondli Gungubele at a post-Cabinet media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.
At a media briefing on Monday, Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, said the action plan was derived from a culmination of a series of meetings held with the industry and will form part of a blue print to be announced once approved by all parties.
The Implementation Plan consists of the following actions:
• Facilitate the appointment of the task team;
• Enforcement of the VISA requirements;
• Need for consideration of all foreign driving licenses;
• Registration and compliance with labour laws;
• Registration of operators in term of Section 45 of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA);
• Review of the Traffic Register Number;
• Review of the Cross-Border Road Transport Legislation;
• Amendment of the National Road Traffic Regulation;
• Integrated joint multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations;
• Implement Driver Training Programme; and
• Consideration of the introduction of Operating Licenses for the industry.
Each organization participating in the process will be represented by two delegates and monthly report meetings will be held by the IMC to review progress on actions being implemented, Nxesi said.
The Department of Home Affairs have conducted over 21 joint multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations and inspections to assess the extent of use of foreign and at times illegal truck drivers.
“These multi-disciplinary and joint enforcement operations conducted across the country saw 213 arrests of foreign truck drivers found to be in contravention of immigration laws with 19 of those in possession of fraudulent documentations,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, Cabinet welcomed the intervention by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape to avert “Day Zero” as the province is facing severe water shortages which started in 2015.
The department is working with the province to implement short, medium and long-term measures to address and mitigate the potential impact of the drought.
“Cabinet further urged the residents of NMB to adhere to water restrictions imposed by local municipalities to ensure water security.
“Overall, water use must be reduced by 50 million litres per day, from the current level of 280 million litres per day, down to 230 million litres per day,” Cabinet said.
Source: South African Government News Agency