The Road Freight Association (RFA) requests urgent intervention by the Minister of Police to secure the safety of our drivers, vehicles and premises.
Since March 2018, a targeted attack on the freight industry has been orchestrated by the All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF) and its allies, in the name of foreign drivers “stealing their jobs”.
There are verified reports of blatant intimidation, bullying and the threatening of drivers and companies who do not meet the demands of the ATDF and its allies. These demands are the immediate firing of all or any foreign nationals employed in a company, the immediate employment of individuals supplied by the ATDF, payment to the ATDF of R350 per person per month for each individual supplied by the ATDF and control over who a company employs.
Should companies not comply, they are threatened with retaliation and the burning of trucks. Recently, shots have been fired at trucks.
This campaign has resulted in the damage or total destruction of 1 200 vehicles (from bakkies to large trucks), the loss of 213 lives (verification on whether solely based on this action or not is still in process) at a cost of close to R1.2 billion to the economy (lost income for drivers and their families, loss & damage of vehicles, loss and damage to cargo, damage to infrastructure (roads, offices, depots), as well as loss of income to businesses.
Some businesses will be forced to close down due to losses.
The RFA urges the Minister of Police to:
- prevent any further incidents (by utilising intelligence capacity),
- arrest all known leaders,
- arrest all perpetrators,
- re-iterate government’s view that this is economic sabotage and that criminals will be harshly dealt with,
- create a national task team to combat this situation.
Our employee’s lives are at stake.
Our businesses are at stake.
Our economy is threatened.
Should there be no satisfactory evidence that the above is being implemented, the RFA reserves its rights to take whatever action is necessary to get government to take action.
Should such a situation present itself, we will require that EACH and EVERY transporter join us in solidarity, in whatever actions we then take to safeguard our employees, our businesses and the economic future of our country.