While renewed government interventions have been put in place to curb attacks on truckers in KwaZulu-Natal, at least 20 trucks per week have been torched in the last three weeks.
This was revealed during a high-level press briefing at police headquarters in KZN where no less than four ministers and stakeholders from the trucking industry addressed journalists.
Representing truck owners, Advocate Pria Hassan said that over 60 trucks had been torched in three weeks, with Minister of Police Bheki Cele adding that 17 were torched over the past weekend alone.
"We are looking at around 10 trucks being burnt per day," Hassan said.
The attacks are not new in the province with assailants alleging that foreign nationals are given jobs as drivers ahead of locals. Cele previously held meetings with stakeholders in the vital logistics industry two months ago to discuss the same matter.
Over 90 arrests
Cele said that 91 people had been arrested during the three week period, but said there was little done in way of prosecution.
"They have been arrested, but someone made a call to say that prosecution needs to come in."
He said that many arrested were charged with traffic offences.
"Several have been released on bail of R500. We are working as a chain of the justice cluster. These crimes cannot just be traffic offences. It is economic sabotage and should be treated as such."
He said that following a high-level meeting on Monday, all parties would refer to the justice cluster and new head of prosecution to enforce greater punishments.
According to Cele – who was joined by Minister Transport Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi and Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi – they were charting a way forward.
"You are seeing all of us here today working together. We are no longer working in silos."
He said they would be meeting at least every fortnight between the four government departments, truck owners and truck drivers to ensure that resolutions taken were followed through.
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