Joint statement on resolution of blockade of N9/N10 between Middleburg EC and Noupoort
The Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula, alongside his counterpart, Minister of Employment & Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, the MEC for Transport & Community Safety, Ms Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe and the Mayor of Inxuba Yethemba Municipality, Ms Noncedo Zonke, met with the protesting truck drivers and small truck operators who had blockaded the N9 and the N10 highways outside Middleburg EC on 25 October 2021.
The Ministers accepted the memorandum of demands, which entails legitimate demands that affect workers in the sector negatively.
The engagements with the protesting drivers and operators acknowledged that the employment of foreign nationals affects job opportunities for the citizens of South Africa and that all the parties, being government, truck drivers and small truck operators are committed to a lasting solution within the ambit of the law.
The following agreement was reached between government, drivers and small truck operators:
• Truck drivers and small truck operators will set up a small technical team that will engage with government on the issues.
• The Technical Team will report within 7 working days from the date of signature. The process will commence on 26 October 2021.
• A NATJOINTS communique will be issued by midnight directing deployment of multi-disciplinary law enforcement teams to enforce compliance of the law and ensure foreign operators driving trucks have the requisite papers and meet all the requirements of the law. Such deployment will be activated as soon as possible.
• On signature of the Agreement, the blockade of the roads will be lifted no later than 06h00 on 26 October 2021.
Minister Mbalula thanked the drivers for the peaceful manner they conducted their protest and for honouring the agreement to clear the blockade on the road within the time frame agreed to.
“We are pleased that the road has been cleared to allow free passage of freight on this important artery road which contributes immensely to our economy. We are committed to ensuring that the interventions we had previously agreed to, which affects other sectors in a similar manner, will be given the necessary impetus within the confines of the law,” said Minister Mbalula.
Source: Government of South Africa