A NATJOINTS communique has been issued on Monday night directing deployment of multi-disciplinary law enforcement teams to enforce compliance of the law and ensure foreign operators driving trucks have the requisite papers and meet all the requirements of the law.
This was among the resolutions reached on Monday after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, alongside his Employment and Labour counterpart, Minister Thulas Nxesi, engaged protesting truck drivers and small truck operators who had blockaded the N9 and the N10 highways outside Middleburg, in the Eastern Cape. Eastern Cape Transport & Community Safety MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe and Inxuba Yethemba Municipality Mayor Noncedo Zonke accompanied the Ministers.
In a joint statement, the Ministries said Nxesi and Mbalula accepted a memorandum of demands, “which entails legitimate demands that affect workers in the sector negatively”.
In the statement, the Ministries said the engagements with the protesting drivers and operators acknowledged that the employment of foreign nationals affects job opportunities for South African citizens.
“All the parties, being government, truck drivers and small truck operators are committed to a lasting solution within the ambit of the law,” it reads.
During the engagement, it was agreed that truck drivers and small truck operators would set up a small technical team that will engage with government on the issues.
The Technical Team was expected to report within seven working days from the date of signature.
On signature of the Agreement, the blockade of the roads will be lifted no later than 6am on 26 October 2021.
Minister Mbalula thanked the drivers for the peaceful manner they conducted their protest and for honouring the agreement to clear the blockade on the road within the time frame agreed to.
“We are pleased that the road has been cleared to allow free passage of freight on this important artery road which contributes immensely to our economy. We are committed to ensuring that the interventions we had previously agreed to, which affects other sectors in a similar manner, will be given the necessary impetus within the confines of the law,” said Mbalula.
Source: South African Government News Agency