Transport minister Fikile Mbalula slams attacks on trucks
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has slammed the recent attacks on trucks in parts of the country.
Addressing parliament on Tuesday about his festive season road safety plan, Mbalula flagged the latest attacks as a serious concern for his department.
He was speaking following the recent violence which has seen trucks torched, attacked and petrol-bombed in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
The attacks are apparently linked to xenophobic violence and protests about the employment of foreign nationals in the trucking industry.
“We remain seriously concerned at the escalation of attacks on trucks on our roads. Lawlessness on our roads will not be tolerated. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring those who believe they have a right to destroy property and place the lives of others at risk meet the full might of the law,” said Mbalula.
He said legitimate platforms were available for any aggrieved person to voice their grievances with relevant stakeholders and find an amicable solution.
“We will not tolerate a situation where our roads are turned into war zones,” he said.
He said traffic officers will be part of joint law enforcement operations alongside the police, the departments of home affairs and employment and labour to curb the violence.
“As part of our interventions, we will be amending the Road Traffic Act regulations to better regulate the authority of a professional driving permit (PDP) issued in a foreign country.
“This process will include consultations with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries,” he said.
Mbalula said his department will also be involved in cross-border operations aimed at curbing overloading, which contributes to fatalities.
He slammed lawlessness on the roads, which includes driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“Our resolve in tackling this challenge has never been greater. An integral part of our strategy is to reduce the permissible alcohol intake to 0%.
“We have no doubt parliament will support us in this effort and the bill is currently before this house to make this goal a reality.”
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