The IFP in the province believes that the dismal failure by the Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande to deal decisively with truck driver’s grievances necessitates urgent intervention from President Ramaphosa.
The recent incident wherein seven trucks were set alight on the N3 near Hidcote between Mooi River and Estcourt as ongoing protests over the apparent employment of foreign truck drivers continued on Thursday morning.
Time for complacency is over and urgent and decisive action is needed to deal with truck driver’s concerns that truck companies prefer to employ alleged illegal foreign nationals instead of South African truck drivers. We simply cannot allow a situation where our already fragile economy is irreparably affected by this strike. We strongly condemn the burning of trucks and the disruption of traffic on our roads.
The IFP also calls for stringent verification of truck drivers especially foreign nationals. The Department of Transport in partnership with relevant role- players in the transport industry should also conduct research into the number of immigrants employed in the industry so as to effectively regulate and control it. We call on the Minister of Transport and senior officials from his Department to conduct unannounced oversight visits to container depots such as the Durban Container Terminal and bus terminals to conduct this process. This will aid driver verification on site.
The IFP believes that the negative impact of undocumented workers on South African low-skill workers and on labour standards is so great that immigration authorities should clamp down on employers who hire undocumented foreign nationals. This will send out a clear message to current and potential illegal workers that this practice will not be tolerated.
Many employers seek illegal workers for the simple reason that it keeps costs down and saves them from investing in equipment and other capital improvements.
The IFP is of the view that it is time to get serious about enforcing immigration laws. Government must urgently address the exploitation of migrant workers by companies in the transport industry.
Issued by : Hon. Steven Moodley MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Transport
083 253 2277
Date: 28 March 2019