The trucking community was baffled when SA Trucker posted on Friday that a trucking company in Benoni had paid monthly salaries of R510, R620 and R1110 to three of its drivers.
A fourth one did not get even a cent after working the whole month.
It’s indeed easier not to believe it, no employer can expect their truck driver to come back to work after collecting such a paltry salary.
A code 14 driver pulling a side tipper interlink and delivering coal to the country’s power stations should certainly earn much more.
Lake Side Transport and Logistics in Benoni, however does not see it that way.
The company allegedly made fictitious deductions from its drivers’ salaries leaving one driver with nothing to take home and the others getting ridiculously meagre amounts.
While the company does not issue payslips to prove the salaries, the drivers showed SA Trucker the bank deposit messages from the company to sustain their allegations.
“I don’t know how he calculated my salary as I did not miss a single day of work,” said one of the drivers who was paid R620.
When asked how much he was expecting to get paid as per their agreement he said, “There is no agreement as such, he refuses to give us his method of calculating our salaries”.
SA Trucker contacted the owner of the company only identified as Rana who initially said he would call back before he blocked calls from this reporter.
SA Trucker managed to call Rana using another number where he confirmed that the drivers got what they worked for.
“If they are not happy with the wages they should f**k off, I have plenty drivers asking for a job right now, you should stop calling me,” Rana said, before dropping the call.
The four drivers, all from Lake Side Transport and Logistics’ tipper division said they are leaving the job. Five others from the cross border division also resigned. The numbers, however, could not be immediately confirmed.
“I just wish authorities could be alerted to the slavery conditions this company is subjecting its employees to. He demands that you push for more loads but come monthend, he does not want to pay. I am only two months and already fed up and leaving, I don’t think anyone stays here longer,” said another driver, the one who received R1110.
He says after a big exchange of words and some threats he managed to push the amount up to R1100 from R350 which the company offered at first.
SA Trucker contacted the operations manager only identified as Bilal who refused to answer any questions.
A truck driver who worked for Lake Side in 2020 said that, it was the company’s strategy to frustrate drivers so they can leave the job and they hire someone else, and it goes on and on.
“The problem is that noone reports them to authorities, we rush to look for another job to make sure our families do not starve,” said the trucker who identified himself as Moyo.
A quick check of the company’s CIPC records shows that Rana, originally from Pakistan is not listed as a director for the company. Only two directors with African names are listed, our efforts to contact them have so far been in vain.