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Transport firms count delays cost

Cops accused of taking bribes and deflating truck tyres

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Trucks can queue for days to cross Lebombo border into Mozambique. This has caused chaos and disillusionment.
Trucks can queue for days to cross Lebombo border into Mozambique. This has caused chaos and disillusionment.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Border Management Authority deputy assistant commissioner Stephen van Neel says the issue of congestion at the Lebombo border will be escalated to the Presidency. He said there had been an increase in the number of trucks passing through the border since the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted in 2020.

“The challenges we are experiencing here at Lebombo border is not just a local matter, this is a very important matter [and] is being escalated to the Presidency. The congestion in the N4 is a matter that is directly dealt with by the Presidency...

“There are challenges being experienced at the corridor at Richards Bay and Durban, and these are some of the contributing factors. There are also issues of non compliance in a number of areas.

“Some [drivers] saying they have been in traffic since Friday last week, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I will have to check with my colleagues. But one issue [we have picked up is] impatience of the drivers jumping the queue and causing traffic.

Some of them are paid per load, which makes them try to take as many loads as they can and, in the process, break the law,” said Van Neel.

Drivers have alleged that cops are taking bribes from their colleagues to help them jump the queue. Trucking company Reinhardt Transport claims that one of its trucks had tyres deflated by traffic officers.

In a video the company shared with Sowetan, an officer can be seen doing something to one of the tyres and it starts releasing air. She then moves on to the next one and does the same thing.

Reinhardt Transport Komatipoort depot manager Werner van der Merwe said the company was incurring costs because one of their trucks had tyres deflated, allegedly by a traffic officer.

The department of community safety, security and liaisons said it will investigate the allegations. Spokesperson Moeti Mmusi said an investigation would be launched. Van der Merwe said: “We are suffering because of these delays. Trucks are stuck in traffic for days and we are paying the employees...”


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