KZN Transport department condemns truck drivers N3 blockade

Major disturbances have been reported on both directions of the N3 since the early hours of Thursday morning. This as disgruntled truck drivers blockaded the highway at  Van Reenen’s pass and Tweedie.
The protesting truck drivers are complaining about what they call government’s failure to resolve the problems facing the sector. One of their main concerns is the employment of foreign nationals.

Traffic came to a stand-still on the N3 from around 5am. This as the protest by South African truck drivers entered day three. Van Reenen’s pass was the most affected route. Truck drivers say they are fed up by what they call government’s inability to intervene in problems facing unemployed South African truck drivers. They say South African drivers being deliberately neglected.

“Some of these foreign brothers are in the country illegally and some of them possess fake licenses, fake documents. They have got the benefit of being employed while hundreds of South Africans are unemployed and they have to rely on the R350 grant. When it comes to driving, driving is not a scarce skill within the country, we have got so many drivers.  Instead the employers are the ones that keep on employing foreign nationals for cheep labour and cheap labour practices”, says Gugu Sokhela  from the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africans.

Government condems protests

The provincial department of transport has condemned the protest.

“These barricades and protests are unwarranted because we have opened the doors for engagements with the truck drivers. We have been working with them on a number of issues including joint law enforcement operations, where we have been targeting lawlessness in the industry.”

“In addition to that we have also engaged through the national task team on a number of legislative amendments which are aimed at ensuring that all the issues that they are raising are being attended”, says provincial spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane.

The organisation representing drivers says it’s only willing to engage with government when it honours committments that have been made. Government says police will continue to closely monitor the situation on affected routes overnight. Police could not confirm whether any arrests were made.

Visuals of the Trucks blocking the N3:

Truck drivers have blocked the N3 in Howick, Tugela Plaza and Van Reenen. Motorists are advised to avoid the road and use alternative routes.

— Road Traffic Management Corporation (@TrafficRTMC) June 16, 2022

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