Increased crime statistics rattle trucking industry

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

Truck hijackings have increased by over 10percent from a year ago - from 829 to 912 trucks, which is an average of 2,5 vehicles a day.

The national crime statistics, released by the South African Police Service, paint a bleak picture for truck drivers.

"The crime stats could have a major impact on the road freight industry, which is already plagued by HIV-Aids and an acute shortage of skilled truck drivers," Kelly Industrial managing director Shaun Day warned.

"The industry as a whole is challenged with the task of changing mindsets; for many, trucking is regarded as a last resort job - the crime stats can only serve to further deter job applications in this field," Day said.

According to the human resources group, there are currently about 60000 qualified truck drivers on our roads, representing only 60percent of the demand.

According to Day, an average of 30percent of skilled drivers are lost every year due to crime-related deaths, HIV-Aids, old age and road accidents. The industry is only replacing 10percent of those drivers.

"A rapid reduction in crime, especially in the road-freight environment, is needed.

"One only needs to do the maths, to see that at this rate, the industry will not be able to sustain itself for much longer," Day commented.