Government urges law enforcement to find a solution to truck violence

With violence against truck drivers escalating amid threats of retaliation by foreign drivers, government has appealed to law enforcement agencies to find a solution.

Addressing MPs in Parliament yesterday, the chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, Mandla Rayi, highlighted that the violence was not only a crime against truck drivers but against the economy.

He said it came “at a time when faster and rapid growth is required”.

“It is critical that law enforcement work hard to find the culprits and act accordingly to stop this thuggish behaviour,” Rayi said, pointing out that the impact on the economy – especially on small and medium enterprises – “was extensive”.

He said attacks motivated by xenophobia would not be tolerated and if xenophobia was a motivating factor, then the perpetrators should be exposed.

“The focus should now be on growing the economy through promoting regional and continental trade. Small and medium enterprises should be at the centre of such efforts, through trading between regions, provinces and neighbouring countries. The burning of trucks is unacceptable.”

Tensions are running high on social media with truck drivers and operators highlighting their challenges on pages such as the SA Long Distance Truckers. One truck driver said he had to cancel his trip to Zambia on Tuesday as he could not risk his life.

Photos of foreign drivers illegally changing their vehicle’s number plates to South African ones have surfaced and there are unconfirmed rumours of local truck drivers being attacked in Zambia and Mozambique. There is also a video circulating on social media of Nigerians attacking foreigners in their country.

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