Durban – Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Labour, Ms Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, and Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, met with the representatives of SATAWU, the National Bargaining Council (Freight), the All Truck Drivers
Foundation and the National Truck Drivers Foundation, to discuss the implementation of the report and recommendations to address challenges facing the South African truck drivers.
The meeting took place on Saturday, the 4th May 2019 in Durban.
Ministers vehemently condemned the fraudulent abuse of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit and the selling of driver’s licenses in the black market by foreign drivers and by some South Africans and companies.
Ministers also raised a concern that some of the implicated companies are also employing people on visitor’s visa, which is against the provisions of the Immigration Act. In terms of the law, employers are required to ascertain the status of the foreign nationals they intend to appoint before employing them.
Ministers further reemphasized that driving is not a scarce skill in South Africa and that currently there are no companies that officially applied for scarce skills dispensation as per the law. “Employers must therefore desist from employing foreign nationals in exchange of employing South Africans, warned Ministers.
“Through our law enforcement operations, we will continue to arrest individuals and companies who continue to exploit South African laws, particularly section 8 of the Employment Services Act of 2014. As government, we appeal to employers to act in a responsible manner in handling labour matters and following on necessary labour prescripts, emphasized Ministers.
The Minister said that those that are found to be sabotaging the economy of the country will be incarcerated.
Government will also continue to strengthen the process of validation and verification of immigration, VISA documents, Work Permits and Foreign Drivers Licenses. In relation to driving licenses, a reciprocal treatment will also be implemented.
Responsible government departments will continue to conduct law enforcement operations including unannounced visits and inspections at the premises of the complaint and non-compliant Operators and Logistics companies.
Government, through the Department of International Relations will further monitor and engage at Diplomatic level on the welfare of South Africans Drivers and Vehicles that are transporting goods in other parts of the region.
To address the concerns of the employees, government agreed to enhance the existing Joint Law Enforcement Operations, to include SAPS, Department of Home Affairs, Traffic Law Enforcement and the Department of Labour.
South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and Public and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (PAWUSA) who serve in the Bargaining Council accepted the recommendations of the Ministerial Task Team and called on all association representing workers to meet as labour to discuss the manner of engagements going forward.
Ministers also called upon all employer representatives to commit to the implementation of the meetings recommendations and urgently meet all the affected labour organizations.
Representatives of Labour emphasized the issue of the rules of engagements and the role of the Bargaining Council.
Government will continue to discuss the issues affecting the truck drivers and make further pronouncement. Government further encourages employers who are not committed to the negotiations to join in finding long lasting resolutions to the issues of truck drivers in the interest of South Africa and the continent at large.
For interview request contact:
Ministry of Labour – Gabriel Seakamela – 0793011253
Ministry of Transport – Ishmael Mnisi 0725660827
Ministry of Home Affairs – Siya Qoza – 0828981657
Ministry of Police – Reneilwe Sereto – 0714920073
Office of the Premier – Ndabezihle 0823754742
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