Sindisiwe Chikunga, the Minister of Transport, has expressed great concern about trucks that have been set on fire in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga in the past few days. Incidents were earlier also reported in Gauteng.
“This is a crime that cannot be tolerated. These criminals commit economic sabotage. This must lead to the worst punishment possible – within legislation -,” she said. “Our road network is the lifeblood of our economy and transports valuable goods that make the wheels of our economy turn.”
According to her, more than 80% of all cargo is transported on roads.
“The road traffic authorities are working closely with other law enforcement to ensure maximum vigilance and apprehend the offenders.”
She says the government has also made a platform for discussions available to any person with grievances about working conditions in the road freight industry. “Progress is being made to bring the issues to the table.”
The ministry works together as part of the inter-ministerial committee.
“Behavior by any person that does not fall within this agreed framework will not be tolerated or approved. We call on law enforcement to bring those who think they can sabotage our economy to the full force of the law. We will not allow our roads to be used as an arena to commit crime.”
National police spokesperson Brig. Athlenda Mathe meanwhile confirmed that the police minister and management of the SAPS will provide more details on Wednesday about the police’s response to the violence.