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ATDF-ASA Applauds Arrests of 13 Illegal Foreign Drivers in Durban, Confirms 20 May Shutdown

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Durban – All Truck Drivers Forum – Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA) has welcomed the arrest of 13 illegal immigrants at two Durban trucking companies after a raid by the KZN provincial task team on Thursday.

“The KZN task team did a very good acting on information supplied and we wish this would be done in all the provinces,” said ATDF-ASA national sec­ret­ary-gen­eral Gugu Sokhela.

The team comprising of Labour, DHA and SAPS officials made a surprise visit to Suntrans at its Cator Manor depot. They managed to arrest 5 illegal immigrants comprising 3 Zimbabweans and 2 Malawians. The owner of the company was also charged for employing illegal immigrants.

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Another raid at Gulltrans saw the arrest of 7 Eswatini nationals and 1 Mozambican who were all illegally in the country.

“We have a list of hundreds of companies illegally employing foreign nationals but we provided the KZN task team only 10 companies which topped the list and already netted 13 illegal immigrants. That gives you a picture of the number of illegal foreigners occupying our jobs,” he added.

Sokhela admitted that negotiations were ongoing with the national task team but expressed his dissatisfaction with the slow pace they were moving.

“We are not in a habit of shutdowns and disturb the economy, but this government leaves us with no option but to strike’

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“We have made it known to them that there are issues that don’t need to go to parliament to address, issues like these inspections. But, they can’t just do it only we ask them – it’s their job they should pertform daily. If they were doing this regularly we wouldn’t be talking about shutdowns anymore,” skhela added.

He told SA Trucker that issues like the ZEP will not be solved overnight as they were in the courts but asked the government to immediately address other issues in their 11 point plan.

“Zimbabweans on ZEP for now, we have to wait for the courts, but what about Malawians, Mozambicans, Swatis and other foreigners who don’t have special permits?” he asked.

20 May Shutdown Confirmed

Sokhela said that the shutdown called for 20 May is on.

“The gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to flout its labour policies when it comes to the employ­ment of for­eign nation­als in the freight industry,” he said.

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Sokhela said averting the situ­ation of a national shut­down was not possible as the government has made empty promises from 2018 until now.

Sokhela said among the work the task team under­took to assist the gov­ern­ment was the work­place joint inspec­tion co-ordin­ated by the Depart­ment of Employ­ment and Labour, the Depart­ment of Home Affairs, the National Bar­gain­ing Coun­cil for Road Freight and Logist­ics Industry (NBCRFLI), the Depart­ment of Trans­port, SAPS, and the Road Traffic Inspect­or­ate (RTI).

“When con­duct­ing oper­a­tions on the road, a joint oper­a­tion at Mkhondeni Weigh­bridge res­ul­ted in a total of 108 trucks inspected, of which 27 were driven by for­eign nation­als. “Only 42 drivers were registered with UIF and 31 were not registered,” said Sokhela.

He said these were some of the prac­tical examples not taken in high regard by the gov­ern­ment as they have a ‘con­flict of interest’ and exploit truck oper­at­ors for cheap labour, abus­ing their human rights.

“We wish to see all national roads com­ing to a stand­still. This is now above us as the lead­er­ship because our mem­bers are accus­ing us of hav­ing tea with the gov­ern­ment instead of put­ting across their interests, as they have given us that man­date,” said Sokhela.

He added that ATDF-ASA will intensify door-to-door visits to force compliance in the trucking industry.

KZN Depart­ment of Trans­port, Safety and Liaison spokes­per­son Kwanele Ncalane said they were not aware of any indus­trial action, however, the depart­ment work­ing with the police will be on high alert.

He said there are cur­rently people appear­ing in court for illegal truck­ing action sim­ilar to the one pro­posed by the ATDF ASA, say­ing there were laws gov­ern­ing the coun­try when it comes to embark­ing on indus­trial action.

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DURBAN – The All Truck Drivers Forum – Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA) has applauded the arrest of 13 illegal immigrants at two Durban trucking companies after a raid by the KZN provincial task team on Thursday.

“The KZN task team acted very well on the information provided, and we wish this would be done in all the provinces,” said ATDF-ASA national secretary-general Gugu Sokhela.

The task team, comprising officials from Labour, DHA, and SAPS, made a surprise visit to Suntrans at its Cator Manor depot. They arrested five illegal immigrants: three Zimbabweans and two Malawians.

The owner of the company was also charged for employing illegal immigrants.

Another raid at Gulltrans led to the arrest of seven eSwatini nationals and a Mozambican, all in the country illegally.

“We have a list of hundreds of companies illegally employing foreign nationals. We provided the KZN task team with only 10 companies from the list, and they already netted 13 illegal immigrants. That shows the number of illegal foreigners occupying our jobs,” Sokhela added.

Sokhela acknowledged ongoing negotiations with the national task team but expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of progress.

“We are not in the habit of shutting down and disturbing the economy, but this government leaves us no option but to strike,” he said.

“We have made it clear that some issues don’t need to go to parliament to be addressed, like these inspections. But they can’t just do it only when we ask them – it’s their job, and they should perform it daily. If they were doing this regularly, we wouldn’t be talking about shutdowns anymore,” Sokhela added.

He told SA Trucker that issues like the ZEP will not be resolved overnight as they are in the courts, but he asked the government to address other issues in their 11-point plan immediately.

“For Zimbabweans on ZEP we have to wait for the courts, but what about Malawians, Mozambicans, Swatis, and other foreigners who don’t have special permits?” he asked.

20 May Shutdown Confirmed

Sokhela confirmed that the shutdown called for 20 May is on.

“The government continues to flout its labour policies regarding the employment of foreign nationals in the freight industry,” he said.

Sokhela said that averting a national shutdown is impossible as the government has made empty promises from 2018 until now.

He cited work undertaken by the task team to assist the government, including workplace joint inspections coordinated by the Department of Employment and Labour, the Department of Home Affairs, the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), the Department of Transport, SAPS, and the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI).

“When conducting operations on the road, a joint operation at Mkhondeni Weighbridge resulted in a total of 108 trucks stopped, of which foreign nationals drove 27. Only 42 drivers were registered with UIF, and 31 were not registered,” said Sokhela.

He said these were some practical examples not taken seriously by the government, accusing it of a ‘conflict of interest’ and exploiting truck operators for cheap labour, abusing their human rights.

“We wish to see all national roads come to a standstill. This is now beyond us as the leadership because our members accuse us of having tea with the government instead of putting across their interests, as they have mandated us,” said Sokhela.

He added that ATDF-ASA will intensify door-to-door visits to enforce compliance in the trucking industry.

KZN Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they were not aware of any industrial action. However, the department, working with the police, will be on high alert.

He mentioned that people are currently appearing in court for illegal trucking actions similar to the one proposed by the ATDF-ASA, emphasizing that there are laws governing industrial action in the country.

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