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Police Warns Truck Drivers Against Lawlessness Amid Shutdown 

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SAPS have warned that lawlessness will not be tolerated during the national shutdown on Monday called by the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA).

The shutdown is expected to disrupt major transport routes.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) has warned that lawlessness will not be tolerated as truck drivers threaten to down tools on Monday.

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The ATDF-ASA plans to embark on a national shutdown on Monday, which is expected to disrupt major transport routes, including the N3 between Durban and Johannesburg, which will be the epicentre of the shutdown.

The message about the shutdown was widely circulated on social media platforms.

Natjoints spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said they were aware of social media posts calling for a shutdown by a group of truck drivers this week.

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

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“As previously communicated, there will be zero tolerance towards threats, intimidation and closure of our roads. Law enforcement agencies are on high alert to ensure there are no criminal activities and that law-abiding citizens are not inconvenienced,” Mathe added.

Natjoints called on road freight industry workers to communicate their grievances within the confines of the law.

“We reiterate our stance, that no lawlessness and any form of criminality will be tolerated.”

Durban Metro police spokesperson Colonel Boysie Zungu told SA Trucker they were aware of the “rumours” surrounding the planned protest action.

“We will be increasing our deployment on the routes normally used by trucks, as well as freeways, to ensure there will be no disruptions on the roads, and that the public is safe,” said Zungu.

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The CEO of the Road Freight Association (RFA), Gavin Kelly, told SA Trucker they were aware of the planned action by the ATDF-SA.

He said:

“While the RFA understands their grievances regarding the Department of Employment and Labour, the RFA is concerned that the protest action may result in violence and injury to innocent drivers as well as damage to innocent transport companies.”

The RFA called on the ATDF-SA to restrain their members from violence and to respect transporters and their drivers who are not party to their grievances.

According to a risk assessment by the Fidelity Services Group, the planned shutdown comes after a protracted six-year history of violence in the South African trucking and road freight industry.

“Tensions were apparent in the trucking and road freight industry since 2018, related to the employment of foreign truck drivers. The ATDF-ASA contends that several trucking companies in the country routinely and illegally hire foreign truck drivers at a lower cost to increase profits. As a result, South African truck drivers are left jobless,” the assessment said.

The Fidelity Services Group risk assessment indicated that KwaZulu-Natal had the most forecasted affected areas, which include the N3, Marian Hill Toll Plaza; the N3, Pietermaritzburg; the N3 between Heidelberg and Cedara; the N3, Mooi River; the N3, Tugela Plaza and Van Reenen’s Pass; the N3, Tweedie; N3 between Swinburne and Montrose; the N3 between Warden and Villiers as well as the N3, Howick, Mooi River and Estcourt.

Other areas are the R74 between Colenso & Harrismith; the R74 between Greytown and Colenso; the N2 between Richards Bay, Mtubatuba and Hluhluwe; the R102 near KwaGingindlovu; the N2 between KwaGingindlovu and Mtubatuba; the R103 and N11, Ladysmith; the N11 between Ladysmith and Volksrust; Durban Harbour; Langeberg Road; Bayhead, Durban; the N2 between Clairwood and Isipingo, Durban; and Bayhead and Durban Central along the N2, M4, R102 and M7.

Other areas likely to be affected include:

Gauteng

  • N17, Soweto
  • London Road between Alexandra and Marlboro, Sandton
  • R23, Benoni
  • N3 between Heidelberg and Vosloorus
  • M61, R554, Alrode, Alberton
  • R59, Alberante, Alberton
  • R103, Roodekop, Germiston
  • N17, M53, Wadeville, Germiston
  • M19, City Deep, Johannesburg South

Mpumalanga

  • N4, Emalahleni
  • N12, Emalahleni
  • N2 between Ermelo and Pongola (KZN)
  • N11, Ermelo
  • R547, R545, R544, Kriel
  • R555, Ogies
  • N11, Middelburg
  • N17, Bethal
  • R546 & R580, Evander
  • N12, Delmas
  • R23, R50, R546, Standerton
  • N11, Hendrina
  • N4 between Komatipoort and Mbombela

Eastern Cape

  • N2, Gqeberha
  • R102, Gqeberha
  • R75, Ibhayi
  • N2 between Deal Party-Gqeberha and Colchester
  • R102 between Swartkops and Markman, Gqeberha
  • N10, Cradock
  • N9, Middelburg

Northern Cape

  • R31 between Van Zylsrus and Hotazel
  • N14, Kuruman
  • N9, Noupoort
  • N9, Colesberg

Western Cape

  • N1 between Kraaifontein and Cape Town
  • N2 between Bonteheuwel and Sir Lowry’s Pass
  • N7 between Milnerton and Citrusdal

Limpopo

  • N11 between Groblersbrug and Emalahleni (MPU)
  • R555 between Stofberg and Burgersfort
  • R37 between Burgersfort and Lydenburg (MPU)

News24 reached out to the ATDF-ASA for comment and this will be added once received.

The Truckers Association of South Africa said it was still in communication with the Department of Transport and would communicate their decision whether to support the shutdown or not after the meeting.

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