Impact of fuel strike likely to hit Monday

2009-04-07 00:00

ALTHOUGH the full impact of a prolonged strike in the road freight industry is only likely to be felt on Monday, local motorists might be inclined to fill up their tanks over the long Easter weekend in anticipation of possible fuel shortages.

The strike, which began yesterday, revolves around a pay dispute between the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) and members of the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA).

A number of Pietermaritzburg filling station owners and managers who spoke to The Witness yesterday said although there is a fair level of uncertainty, they are not extremely concerned about the immediate three to four-day fuel supply outlook.

However, although oil and transport companies have reportedly established contingency measures, incidents of intimidation of non-striking drivers may wreak havoc on the supply of fuel to local filling stations, particularly smaller ones.

Most filling station owners expressed concern for the safety of non-striking drivers.

Newly appointed CEO of the Fuel Retailers’ Association, Reggie Sibiya, echoed this sentiment.

“One factor we must be mindful of is the 2005 experience, where there was intimidation of drivers,” Sibiya told The Witness.

Striking truck drivers stopped non-striking drivers and forced them to abandon their vehicles on the road, blocking traffic in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

About five trucks were abandoned in the centre of the road at the Ohrtmann Road on-ramp, causing a traffic back-up on the N3 during the lunch hour.

The Witness heard reports that truck drivers were forced to hand over their keys to the strikers who then walked off with them.

A handful of strikers walked through the city during lunch time and forced local and other working drivers to stop working and join the strike. More trucks were parked on the Echo and Chota Motala road corner causing disturbance in traffic flows on exit roads and at the highway.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.