The striking drivers claim that South African companies employ foreign drivers instead of South African citizens, because the foreigners are willing to work for lower wages, and they say that these drivers make up about 90% of the workforce.
It was reported that the roads are being blocked for truck drivers. The N2 between Pongola and Piet Retief and the N11 between Volksrust and Ermelo and the R33 between Piet Retief and Vryheid are said to be some of the blocked roads.
On the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal: Van Rheenen’s Pass, Mooi River, Estcourt and Harrismith as well as the N2 towards Richards Bay, Port Shepstone and Verulam were reported to be blocked as well.
All routes into Gauteng and the N2 Motherwell (Eastern Cape) area route were also reportedly blocked.
In the Western Cape routes on the N1, N2, N7 AND R300 were also blocked.
In some areas, the strike has turned violent and trucks were set alight or drivers had rocks thrown at them.
Currently, the South African economy is crumbling after the strict level 5 of the nationwide lockdown and the implications of this strike added to it, could be astronomical.
Many business are struggling to recover from the financial blow of lockdown and can’t afford to lose the truck or the cargo that these trucks might be carrying or have a delay in stock arriving to shops. Some transport companies also won’t be able to replace their damaged trucks should these strikes turn violent like the previous incidents. This could cause major job losses.
In the 2019 strike many foreign drivers sadly also paid with their lives.
Hopefully, the Government will find an amicable solution for both foreign and national citizens before this strike turns more violent.