Bheki Cele sends a strong message to the trucking industry after N3 blockade arrests

2018-06-21 19:14
Trucks backed during Van Reenen's protest. (Supplied)

Trucks backed during Van Reenen's protest. (Supplied)

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Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, has issued a strong warning against the blockading of roads by trucks drivers, following the arrest of 62 drivers on the N3 at Van Reenen's Pass in KwaZulu-Natal.

The national route was reopened on Thursday morning, after law enforcement agencies made the arrests and impounded 51 trucks.

The truck blockade resulted in backed up traffic several kilometres long on Wednesday.

"Police action will be very tough in maintaining law and order. This barbaric behaviour will not be tolerated," Cele said.

"Swift and tough action by the police is once again an indication of our commitment to maintain law and order in our country. No amount of pressure will divert our focus from stamping hard the authority of the state."

READ: 62 arrested as N3 Van Reenen's blockade cleared

News24 previously reported that the employment of foreign drivers at lower rates may have been the reason behind the blockade as it raised the potential for exploitation.

The matter has already been discussed by the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union, which said on Wednesday that its members were not party to the blockade, but it had told its bargaining council about it.

Cele reminded the truck industry of his open-door policy for progressive engagements.

"We are appealing to the truck industry to be part of the solution and not create more room for destructive behaviour on our roads," Cele said.

"If drivers are raising genuine grievances then those must be received by willing hearts and minds for a better and lasting solution in resolving the ongoing dispute."

The first truck blockade occurred over the Easter weekend in Mooi River and was followed by another a week later.

Read more on:    durban  |  protests

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