Ministers to meet in Durban following fiery N3 truck attacks

A truck was set alight on the N3 near the Mooi River Toll Plaza in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A truck was set alight on the N3 near the Mooi River Toll Plaza in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Image: Netcare 911

Four national ministers will attend an urgent meeting in Durban on Monday in an attempt to find a solution to ongoing truck attacks on the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal. 

This comes after at least 12 trucks were burnt on the national highway over the weekend in the latest wave of attacks, which are believed to be related to the hiring of foreign truck drivers. 

Police minister Bheki Cele, together with transport minister Fikile Mbalula, labour minister Thulas Nxesi and minister of home affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will hold discussions with truck owners, unions and various associations to quell tensions and devise a way forward. 

National Truck Drivers Association secretary-general Siphosihle Muthwa said the government needs to act decisively to deal with the matter. 

Muthwa said allegations that some trucking companies were involved in the burning of their own vehicles in order to claim from insurance was one of their biggest concerns that they would be raising at the meeting. 

"We understand that certain truck owners were involved in the burning of their own truck in Marianhill for insurance purposes," he said. 

During a meeting in April, the government vowed to explore the question of whether certain truck-driving jobs required expertise that could be deemed "rare or scarce" in South Africa.

This follows claims by members of the Positive Freight Solutions Forum (PFSF), which represents the majority of the logistics sector in greater KwaZulu-Natal, that certain truck-driving positions required experience and a "rare set of skills" that not many South Africans possess - thus creating a gap in the market for foreigners. 

The government said it would be investigating a list of 47 companies nationally, which have allegedly been employing foreigners. 

Meanwhile, the commercial manager for the N3 toll concession, Con Roux, said the meeting scheduled with the ministers would be crucial in resolving an issue that has been going on for more than a year. 

"We just hope that those talks are fruitful in coming to some sort of solution. Let's get to the bottom of this, find out what's going on and resolve it," said Roux.

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