Parliament has sent draft amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations on foreign Professional Driving Permits back to the transport department for further consideration.
In a statement at the end of October 2021, the department pointed out that the proposed Regulations were before parliament for comment and the plan was to publish amended Regulations by the end of November 2021.
The draft Regulations are designed to prevent a foreign national from driving a South African registered truck using a foreign Professional Driving Permit.
Recently, truck drivers have been blockading national roads making demands ranging from their conditions of service, employment of foreign nationals and issues relating to professional driving permits.
The draft amendments to the Regulations were published for comment in Government Gazette 44484 in April 2021.
The Regulations were drawn up in terms of the National Road Traffic Act.
A new Regulation 116A on authority of a Professional Driving Permit issued in a foreign country is proposed.
It stipulates that the “authority provided by a professional driving permit issued in a foreign country shall apply in respect of a vehicle registered in the country that issued any such permit”.
Such a permit will not apply to a vehicle registered in South Africa.
In a statement, the select committee on transport, public service and administration and public works and infrastructure declared that the proposed amendments to the Regulation were not supported.
The transport department has been requested to “carefully consider the practicalities of travel within the Southern African Development Community”.
The committee chairperson, Kenny Mmoiemang, emphasized that a lot of work needs to be done on the draft Regulation.
“There is nothing barring foreign nationals from driving trucks in our country and we cannot discriminate against foreigners. We subscribe to the values enshrined in our Constitution”, he said.
In a briefing to the committee, the department pointed out that the main objective of the draft Regulations is to address the violent industrial action taken by disgruntled South African truck drivers against trucks operated by foreign truck drivers employed in the South African freight industry and to encourage the employment of South African truck drivers “as opposed to the foreign truck drivers who are remunerated less than the minimum wage prescribed by the Department of Employment and Labour”.
Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 45491, the department published the Twenty-First Amendment of the Civil Aviation Regulations in terms of the Civil Aviation Act.