The National Joint Operational Structure (NatJOINTS), consisting of various government departments in the security cluster has issued directives to law enforcement role players, including the South African Police Service, to activate their contingency plans at all provinces to ensure that the planned National Truck Shutdown is policed efficiently through priority deployments at identified key areas.
The planned shutdown was preceded by sporadic attacks on trucks on various national roads across all provinces and social media messages calling for the disruption of traffic and attacks on local trucks driven by foreign nationals in the face of high unemployment locally.
Members of the South African Police Service and all law enforcement agencies will continue to apply fundamental policing principles, guided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Gatherings Act 1993 (Act 205 of 1993) as well the current State of Disaster Regulations.
There will be zero tolerance to any intimidation against truck drivers as well as other road users. Law enforcement will ensure that there are no criminal activities and that the lives of law abiding citizens are not put in danger.
The Task Team, established by the President consisting of the Ministers of Home Affairs, Employment and Labour, South African Police and Transport were fully briefed on the outcomes of the Road Freight and Logistics Task Team virtual meeting convened by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s office. Other participants included the Independent Trucking Business representatives and the National Truck Drivers Foundation (NTDF). The All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF) did not attend the meeting despite being invited.
On-behalf of the Ministers:-
– We noted the progress detailed in the Action Plans of both the National and the KZN Provincial Task Teams that we set-up last year and urged officials to continue to resolve all outstanding matters and to process these reports within the NatJoints structures.
– We noted the concerns of the independent trucking industry representatives and urged them to work closely with the law enforcement agencies.
– We appreciate the NTDF ‘s continued participation in the Task Team and denouncing the violence and distancing themselves from the planned shutdown.
– We are equally dismayed and disturbed by the actions of the splinter groupings that continue to involve themselves in sporadic violence against trucks on our national roads, social media threats and the calls for shutdown.
– We have instructed the police to deal decisively with those involved as we cannot tolerate further disruptions to the economy after the lockdown we had.
– We are restating our call upon the independent trucking employer representatives and former workers representatives to form legitimate organizations that are accountable, register accordingly and join formal structures such as the Road freight Bargaining Council.
– We are encouraged by the virtual meeting with the Road Freight Bargaining Council together with employer organisations, and union representatives that took place today, to address their concerns following the shutdown call.
– We also acknowledge the growing public concerns around the continued presence of foreign nationals in the trucking, security, agriculture, construction, hospitality and domestic sectors amongst others in the mist of high unemployment rate in the country.
Key to the outcomes of todays meeting:
– Is the total condemnation of violence by all stakeholders
– The task teams to continuously meet under the leadership of the Ministry of Employment and Labour and the Bargaining Council
– The fast tracking of all labour and emigration policies
They also noted with concern steps being initiated by some SADC member states to reserve low skilled sectors for their nationals. The Employment and Labour and Home Affairs were urged to fast-track the international immigration and labour migration management policy and legal matters, to escalate these matters to Cabinet. We will also address some of these matters with our counterparts within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union.
We call on Road Freight Industry workers to air their grievances and to stage protests within the confines of the law as it is within their right to do so. Protesters are also reminded that the country is still under the State of Disaster and the public has to abide by the Disaster Management Regulations which are governing the State of Disaster, one of which prohibits gatherings other than a funeral, church service and gathering for work-related purposes.
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