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Policy Changes on Road Freight to be Prioritised

November 9, 2021

Department of Employment and Labour

Government is committed to speed up policy changes on road freight following the recent widespread protests by truck owners and drivers.

In a statement, the employment and labour department indicated that, in a recent meeting, the ministers of employment and labour and home affairs and the deputy minister of police, officials of the transport department and other relevant departments, committed to speed up policy changes to address issues raised by aggrieved truckers and drivers.

Issues include the “employment of foreign nationals – especially undocumented foreign nationals as well as those who arrive in the country as visitors but end up taking employment which is prohibited”.

The home affairs minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, assured the road freight industry that the Border Management Authority is being set up and will be engaging the trucking sector.

The transport department is focused on cross border transport relations; foreign drivers issued licenses; fake licences; prosecution of non-complying employers and discrimination against local drivers by the industry.

Government also committed to do a “scan of migration and transport legislation impacting negatively on RSA drivers as well as implementing tough measures against employers who continue to employ people without proper documentation”.

Meanwhile, in another statement, the department declared that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has commenced payments of the Workers Affected By Unrest Relief Scheme.

To date, R6.4 million has been disbursed to 1 402 workers that were affected by the July 2021 unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the department, since the opening of the application process in August 2021, the UIF has received applications from 500 employers on behalf of close to 16 000 workers.

“From the 500 employer applications received, we have paid 1 402 workers, which is not a great number considering that 16 000 workers have applied. We are however, not worried about this seemingly low number because it shows the robustness of our verification process, which ensures that only those who meet our standards are fit for payment,” said UIF Acting Commissioner, Advocate Mzie Yawa.

In a separate matter, the department, in Government Gazette 45426, announced that the trade Union, National Security Commercial and General Workers Union of the Free State, has applied to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in terms of Section 62(1) of the Labour Relations Act for a demarcation order that certain activities of Route Management (Pty) ltd and 2 others fall within the registered scope and jurisdiction of the Metal & Engineering Industry Bargaining Council.

The CCMA seeks written representations on the application as the “question raised by this demarcation application is potentially of substantial importance” within 21 calendar days of the date of publication.