This is the second mass truck protest in a matter of days and it will have a lasting impact on future investments in South Africa, says an economist.
DURBAN – The N3 near Montrose in the Free State remains closed to traffic, due to the second mass truck protest in a matter of days.
The truck strikes will have a lasting impact on future investments in South Africa, an economist has warned.
Earlier on Tuesday it was reported that there was a massive traffic backlog along the busy route because of the truck protest.
N3 toll concession operations manager Thania Dhoogra said law enforcement had been deployed and continued to monitor the situation.
She said extensive traffic disruptions and delays were being experienced between Tugela Plaza and Harrismith.
“Road users are advised to delay travel to this area until further notice.“
“The Road Traffic Inspectorate and SAPS are attempting to divert northbound traffic travelling towards Gauteng at the Bergville Interchange. A diversion and turnaround is also being implemented at Frere Interchange,” Dhoogra said.
It is believed that truckers are protesting over the hiring of foreign nationals as truck drivers.
The Road Freight Association has called for the roads to be reopened to traffic.
The association’s Gavin Kell said the continual attack on the logistics supply chain and the wilful disregard by sectors who continued to drive agendas outside the collective bargaining structure, or to further their grievances by attacking the law-abiding citizenry, must be brought to a stop immediately.
“The government has promised to resolve the matter of illegal foreigners in whatever industry for a number of years but has not done what was promised. Freight operators who abide by the collective agreement signed with the representatives or unions of truck drivers are targeted time and again without reason. This must stop now,” Kelly said.
Chief economist at the Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt, has called for political intervention to address the truck strikes.
Roodt said the contention would have a devastating impact on the country’s economy in the years to come.
“This is hugely disruptive as we head to the festive season. SA has been in trouble for the last 10 years. There have been lots of people who have lost jobs and this is coupled with social tensions and xenophobia,” he said.
Roodt said the truck strikes were politically related and needed government intervention.
“Everything is connected. There are about 30 million people who rely on the state for money and with this, there will be 30 million people who will get less money and therefore 30 million people who are angry,” he said.
Roodt said the damage would be seen in losses to future investments and a loss of confidence in South Africa.