The Road Freight Association believes the incident in Van Reenenspas where six trucks were set on fire was carried out with “purposeful precision” and the timing was to cause as much “chaos and disruption” as possible.
Around 22:00 on Saturday, a gang of armed men forced six truck drivers to stop on the Van Reenens Pass, after which they set all the trucks on fire.
Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Road Freight Association, described the incident as a “coordinated attack on the road freight sector” and said it had far-reaching long-term consequences such as job losses, increased safety costs, higher insurance premiums, higher tolls, less freight movement and the closure of freight companies.
“Once again, the cost to the South African economy will amount to billions of rands, as business confidence of foreign investors drops and those who use South Africa as a freight transport destination turn away from the country to other countries that are safer and more efficient.”
Kelly believes the more important question to be answered is who is behind this attack and why.
“The targeted accuracy of the attack is worrying. It was well planned and efficiently set up. If this is the same group that has been behind such attacks across the country for the past six years, then action must be taken against those who promote, plan and execute such criminal actions. We have heard the Minister of Police refer to economic sabotage and many other forms of description, but it appears as if this behavior continues unabated.”
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa also described the incident as “economic sabotage” and lamented its negative effects on the economy. According to Ramaphosa, he will soon receive intelligence reports on the incident and will punish the perpetrators for their actions.