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Reinhardt Transport Group responds to ATDF demands – Full statement

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Reinhardt Transport Group Chief Operating Officer, Rodney Houston-McMillan, has responded to a list of demands by All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF) in which the forum demanded the employment of people from KwaZulu Natal, amongst other demands.

ATDF wrote to Reinhardt Transport Group demanding that the company provides information of any Community Service Initiatives (CSI) by the company for areas they are operating in including Richards Bay, Mtubatuba and Somkhele.

ATDF also wanted the company to hire community members as part of the CSI for the elimination of poverty alleging that the company hired foreign nationals.

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The forum also demanded that Reinhardt tests drivers in KZN as the company does in other provinces and limit the number of foreign nationals.

ATDF gave the company 7 days to respond to its demands.

Here is a full statement by Reinhardt Transport Group Chief Operating Officer, Rodney Houston-McMillan in response to ATDF demands

Dated: 5 FEBRUARY 2021
ATDF (All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa)
Sifiso Nyathi (ATDF)
Manqoba Zuthulele Shozi (ATDF)
All Other Members (ATDF)

We take note of your letter which was only received at our depot in Richards Bay on the 19th of January 2021. The same letter was sent directly to me on the 28th of January 2021 and a second one via text on the 3rd of February 2021. Your official letter are attached hereto for ease of reference.

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Your letters contain allegations that are unfortunately blatantly incorrect, hence we furnish you with the following response, trusting that it will eliminate any misunderstanding, incorrect perceptions, or false information you may have been provided:

We are absolutely committed towards supporting South Africans in their best interest possible. This is achieved by the following means:

– Regular Testing days are clearly stated when advertised that it is for South African Citizens only.
– We take great care in looking after our current employees the best way possible.
– We have established the CPD Academy where we are training young drivers from various of our respective communities. This academy is purely for the upliftment of SA Citizens only. Our intake is 390 new young drivers per year.
– No new foreign nationals are employed.

Your statement that we only employ people from other provinces and not from KZN is unfounded as the facts are as follows:

– We currently employ more than 450 drivers throughout our various Companies in our Group that have Zulu as home language. Furthermore, many of our other staff are also Zulu speakers.
– From the abovementioned 450 drivers, in excess of 320 of them have active residential addresses in KZN.
– Within our CPD academy more than 150 (40%) of all learners are Zulu home language speakers and are of decent from KZN. They are trained to become employable as drivers and once trained, are mostly also employed by our own companies.

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As for testing days at our various companies and specifically at Steelpoort as mentioned in your letter, the following applies:
– Each company has its own HR employment structures situated at the respective company’s base. This base is the primary place of employment for all employees employed by the specific company.
– The Steelpoort Operations and all other areas, clearly indicate on their advertisements whether its for local or long distance transport when they advertise to test. If its for local transport within the province, we endeavour to hire local employees from the communities around the mines where those trucks operate. If its for long distance transport, we hire all groups and not specifically only from the
local community.
– None of our companies use Durban and Richardsbay depots as primary bases as these depots are re-fuelling points only.
– In the Richards Bay and Durban areas, we currently do not have any viable substantial contract that warrant the establishment of a separate business entity in that region. Employees working in these depots are all of local origin.

As for community development in your area:
– Our CPD Academy actively recruit candidates from your area and you are welcome to also assist us by sending CV’s to us. Bear in mind that this does not guarantee that all of them will be placed into the academy as the academy has to serve all our respective communities, not just KZN. Candidates also
have to comply with the minimum requirements and their acceptance is subject to interviews by the panel.
– We are in contact with the respective mines around your area and we have helped in the past and have also offered to help within our capabilities when requested by the mines. We do have current social projects running in KZN however, the details of which we are not at liberty to disclose.
– The viability and size of Community projects in a specific area are determined by the revenue generated through our operations in that area.

We have experienced several unfortunate incidents recently. Specifically, our drivers are being shot at; one even injured by a bullet that was shot through the door of our truck.

Shootings at our other trucks also took
place, fortunately not injuring or killing the drivers. The drivers were all South Africans and some even Zulu speaking. Three of our trucks were set alight and destroyed.

We condemn this conduct in the strongest
possible terms. Our employees’ safety is of paramount importance. Our country needs us all, including yourself, to act responsibly to foster life and protect jobs.

We are of the opinion that your actions are not based on correct facts and perceptions hence all of what happened was truly unnecessary.

We therefore place on record that we have no alternative and will do whatever is necessary to protect our employees and our operations.
It is trusted that you will use your good influence to turn the tide. Ends

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