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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Zim truck drivers seek Malema’s help as company forces them to do job ‘meant for locals’

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Zimbabwean truck drivers working at MBS Carriers are up in arms with their employer who is allegedly forcing them to do local shunting work in Durban which they believe should be given to South Africans.

MBS Carriers does mainly cross border loads to and from neighbouring countries.

The drivers claim that they were employed to do cross border only, if the company has local work, it should be given to local companies or drivers.

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After the fallout, the drivers wrote to EFF leader, Julius Malema, who has since instructed the EFF KZN Provincial Chairperson Vusumuzi Khoza to attend to the plight of Zimbabwean truck drivers.

In their plea for help, the drivers wrote:

Sorry boss to disturb you, how are you doing.

We are truck drivers from Zimbabwe working on a south african company called MBS carriers. This is a crossborder company but now they took some other trucks to work local and they are forcing us Zimbabweans drivers to take that job again.

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They are forcing us to do shunting in durban and we are refusing saying employ local people to work on that job. Plz help us and they are forcing us to get to the durban port for shunting.

We are not refusing to go to work but we are refusing to take local jobs. Thank you in advance for your favourable response.

MBS Carriers had not yet commented at the time of publishing.

In response, Malema tweeted, “The employer is the biggest problem, not our African brothers and sisters. Commissar @vusumuzikhoza, please attend to this nonsense. Africa we are one.”

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Last year, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said his government has taken note of the allegation that the employers take advantage of the lack of clarity in our regulations insofar as this relates to foreign nationals making use of Professional Driving Permits issued in their respective countries to drive in South Africa.

Read also: Malema calls on businesses to make sure 60% of employees are South Africans

“In April 2021, we published an amendment to the Road Traffic Act Regulations, which incorporates a provision that a Professional Driving Permit issued by a foreign country will only be applicable to a vehicle registered in that country.  Once this Regulation comes into effect, a foreign national will therefore not be permitted to drive a South African registered truck using a foreign Professional Driving Permit.” Mbalula said.

During a recent virtual meeting of freight operators Donald Mackay, director of XA International Trade Advisors, said  the move by the South African government to prohibit foreign drivers from working locally without a permit flew in the face of a SADC agreement to allow drivers access and would hamper trade by making it difficult for SA drivers to travel in other countries.

“A Gauteng township economy law sets aside certain businesses that can only be operated by South Africans, and amendments to labour legislation reserving certain jobs only for South Africans is all happening in the context of a broader trade agreement that seeks to liberalise the movement of services, people and goods in Africa,” he said.

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