Xenophobic attacks push Parsons Logistics to expand Eswatini base

Parsons Logistics Services is stepping up it’s B measures by expanding its base in Eswatini to counter xenophobic attacks on its drivers in South Africa.

Amongst other reasons, the company says it was motivated to expand operations in Eswatini after a video circulated online last year where an Eswatini citizen was assaulted by members of the All Truck Drivers Foundation Allied South Africa(ATDF-ASA).

The transporter pledged to only employ Eswatini citizens, by the Parsons Eswatini company to do local work in the country.

The South African trucking company says they want to give a lifeline to some of the emaSwati truck drivers who ran away South Africa because of attacks targeting foreign truck drivers.

Parsons Logistics Services Manager Jaco Parsons, said they were in a process of expanding their branch in Eswatini which is located in Ngwenya.

He said they established the branch about 20 years ago and now they were upgrading it, in preparation for the expansion which had already started.

He said currently, they had already bought three new trucks from Mercedes and have been registered in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

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He said as they had completed the registration process of the trucks, they would be pushing to add at least three or two trucks in the coming months.

“This month, we employed seven people and next month, we are looking to add about 10 more employees, mainly truck drivers. Since we will be bringing more trucks in the coming months, we will also hire more workers and by the end of the year, we will have about 60 workers in our wing in the country,” Parsons told a local newspaper.

The manager said emaSwati who have experience in working in South Africa would have an advantage because their dealings were mostly between Eswatini and the neighbouring republic of SA.

He said in light of the economy, which was experiencing tough times with the ongoing unrests in the country, they hoped and wished that the expansion would bring some enlightenment to the citizens.

He said they have been established in Eswatini for many years and with all the pressure experienced on the South African side, they would not abandon the country and their work force, but instead grow resilient with them.

“We have a lot of trust and faith in the Eswatini citizens that together we will make a success from this,” the manager said.

It is worth noting that a few months ago, when a truck belonging to the company was torched by unknown people at Luyengo in the Manzini Region, the manager mentioned that their offices in South Africa had been constantly visited by some political parties and trade unions who were protesting and demanding that it fires all emaSwati it had hired.

However, he made it clear that they could not do that because they had a wing in Eswatini and it hires emaswati drivers who ferry some good from South Africa to Eswatini, some of which assist the country in term of food security.

He also made a promise that the year, they had a plan to expand the wing in Eswatini, which was already happening.