The IFP tabled a written motion in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, calling for an urgent debate on poor working conditions of South African truck drivers.
The IFP believes that if this matter continues to be overlooked by government, the violent protests will paralyse the entire transport sector in South Africa. This situation will continue to impact negatively on South Africa’s economy and the ability to freely trade locally and inter- nationally. As a country we had been trying to woo international investors, however, such incidents work against any progress that may have been made.
While most of the trucking companies are local, the cargo that they move is either from overseas or is destined for export and relies on better and fair working conditions of drivers. The failure to fix this matter with urgency it deserves, will affect our local ports as some firms will prefer to use alternative ports from other countries than ours.
The IFP urges government to intervene and ensure these companies implement the South African labour laws in favour of local truck drivers and also ensure companies improve working conditions of drivers in the country. This will eliminate and prevent what is perceived to be xenophobic attacks against other Africans.
Having said that, the IFP would like to put it on record that whatever the reasons are, it is totally against xenophobia. The IFP believes that every citizen is expected to constructively shape social cohesion through healthy, peaceful, practical solutions that can effectively address all challenges fuelling the problems in the trucking industry. Repeating stereotypes will not advance the goals of upholding the fundamental rights of all in our society.
Lastly, the IFP urges government to roll-out action programme that will also reach out to communities at large. Programmes such as awareness campaigns aimed at educating about negative effects of xenophobia, protect potential victims and discourage people from indulging in violent practices whenever there are issues that needs the attention of government.
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL,
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison,
078 290 5842