Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, has lambasted the truck drivers who are said to have threatened to block all major roads this Easter weekend.
As reported by IOL News, this is an effort, from the truck drivers, to drive a message home to employers who overlook the skillsets of South African citizens and opt to hire foreign nationals.
Why are truck drivers threatening to strike this Easter weekend?
According to Nzimande, this dispute was settled months ago. It comes as a surprise to him that there have been these threats — supposedly made by truck drivers.
The minister revealed that there have been a number of engagements between government and truck drivers’ associations, most of which have been progressive.
Nzimande noted that the government had been working on attending to the truck drivers’ grievances, and this threat, the minister said, can only be viewed as malicious.
“Blocking roads would not only disrupt the flow of traffic but was tantamount to sabotaging the economy of the country, service delivery programmes and disrupting the Easter break of millions of South Africans,” Nzimande said.
Nzimande issues warning to truck protesters
The transport minister, whose reaction was necessitated by the information he received from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS), warned those who planned on going ahead with disruptions to prepare to spend time in jail.
“I have been assured by the security cluster that it is ready to deal decisively with any such possible disruptions,” the minister exclaimed.
Nzimande had been joined by the leadership of the All Truck Drivers Foundation and the National Truck Drivers Association, at a media briefing, when all parties agreed on the recommendations that were detailed in a report that dealt with the grievances lodged by the drivers.
Nzimande noted that the actions of the report were now the responsibility of labour minister, Mildred Oliphant since the matter dealt with labour policies related to the employment quota of foreign nationals.