The Departments of Transport, Employment and Labour have released a joint statement on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, announcing that they have agreed to a resolution with protesting Truck drivers and small truck operators who blockaded the N9 and N10 highways outside Middelburg on the 25th of October 2021.
The Departments announced that the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, alongside the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulasi Nxesi, the MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe and the mayor of Inxuba Yathemba Municipality, Noncedo Zonke, met with the protesting truck drivers and small truck operators and accepted their memorandum of demands which entailed legitimate demands that affect workers in the sector negatively.
“The engagements with the protesting truck drivers and operators acknowledged that the employment of foreign nationals affects job opportunities for the citizens of South Africa and that all the parties, being government, truck drivers and small truck operators are committed to a lasting solution within the ambit of the law,” the Departments stated.
The Departments, in their statement, announced that their agreement with Truck drivers and operators entailed that Truck drivers and small truck operators will set up a small technical team that will engage with government on the issues and that the technical team will report within 7 working days from the date of signature commencing on the 26th of October 2021,.
NATJOINTS communiqué will be issued by midnight directing deployment of multi-disciplinary law enforcement teams to enforce compliance of the law and ensure foreign operators driving trucks have the requisite papers and meet all the requirements of the law which will be activated as soon as possible, and finally that upon signing of the Agreement the blockade of the roads will be lifted no later than 06h00 on the 26th of October 2021.
The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, thanked the truck drivers and operators and commended them for conducting their protest in a peaceful manner and for honouring the agreement by clearing the blockade on the road within the agreed time frame.