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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Illegal truck drivers and their employers arrested in N12 roadblock led by Nxesi

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As the inter-ministerial committee continues its blitz on the illegal employment of foreign nationals in the trucking industry, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi spearheaded a labour inspections roadblock on the N12 in Potchefstroom which netted a number of illegally employed foreign truck drivers on Thursday.

The roadblocks, which are expected to end on Friday, form part of the resolutions by the committee to intensify labour inspections to monitor the employment of migrant workers in the trucking industry.

The labour inspections follow complaints by South African truck drivers saying the road freight and logistics industry is employing undocumented foreign nationals for cheap labour.

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Trucks were stopped during labour inspections and undocumented foreign truck drivers were arrested.

According to SABC, on Wednesday, some employers were also arrested for violation of various labour laws and labour exploitation. They have allegedly employed undocumented foreigners as truck drivers.

“We discovered a lot of violations, companies which are not complying, having foreign national or having foreign drivers which are not legal and those are the issues we are going to take up. But also we have seen that there are also workers who have not been registered by this freight industry or the trucking industry. They do not have any UIF, no compensation fund. We think that these are serious violations.” Nxesi says he was impressed by other companies that comply with the law.

Some trade unions have called on the government to take harsh steps where there is non-compliance with labour laws.

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“If the government can make harsher sentences, like taking the operating licences of the businesses that employ undocumented foreigners, because if they just give the fine, these employers budget for those fines. It is within their budget. So, we feel that we must impose harsher sentences against those who are seen in contravention of the law,” says Congress of South African Trade Unions’ Kopano Konopi.

Food and Allied Workers Union shop-steward Patrick Moleko says unions often raise concerns when there is non-adhere to legislation, and they should therefore not be barred from workplaces.

“We raise our concerns, whenever we have concerns with the management. We do make time to sit down and see how we can resolve those issues.”

The five-day labour inspection in Potchefstroom will end on Friday.

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