Traffic congestion at Durban port ahead of calls for shutdown

Traffic in Durban, on Umbilo road from the M7 northbound (towards city centre), has been severely affected by a truck go-slow.
Traffic in Durban, on Umbilo road from the M7 northbound (towards city centre), has been severely affected by a truck go-slow.
Image: Facebook/‎Beverley Isaac‎/Bluff Gatvol Non Racial

Thousands of Durban motorists have been affected by a go-slow by members of the trucking fraternity at the port of Durban. 

In a media statement on Wednesday, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said it was addressing serious truck traffic congestion in the Bayhead precinct of the port, which began on Tuesday. 

Transnet said it was also aware of a social media message, allegedly by transport companies, calling for a boycott of the Durban harbour and urging truckers to park at their depots from 6am on Thursday until 6pm on Monday.

“TNPA has arranged the urgent deployment of the SAPS and Durban metro police and terminal operators to assist in alleviating the traffic backlog. A significant number of employees working across the terminals and depots in the Bayhead and Island View precincts reported being unable to access their work stations in time for duty. This has led to delays in landside operations which are now having a knock-on effect on waterside operations,” the statement read. 

Metro police spokesperson Supt Parboo Sewpersadh said traffic had been severely affected on Umbilo Road, Edwin Swales Drive, Bayhead Road and Langeberg Road. 

“Members have been deployed to monitor the situation and attempt to alleviate traffic congestion. I have also requested that Metro police management engage and work very closely with management of the port regarding this issue,” he said. 

SA Trucker published a copy of the message which circulated online calling for drivers to embark on a go-slow. 

“Time has come for change. Despite all the undertakings commitments and ministerial visits we were not given a platform to demonstrate the losses we suffer as a result of the ports inefficiencies,” an extract reads. 

Siphosihle Muthwa of the National Truck Drivers Federation said he was not aware of any plans for the go-slow or boycott, but said a national shutdown was planned for December 29. 

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