A truck drivers protest is demanding the de-registration of foreign national drivers. The commercial N10 road in Middelburg, which is pivotal to Mzansi’s economy, has been blocked since Sunday in protest.
MIDDELBURG’S N10 ROAD BLOCKED BY TRUCK DRIVERS PROTEST
The situation has steered Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to urgently make their way to the richly agricultural Eastern Cape town.
The belligerent drivers are defying the employment of foreign nationals and refuse to open the road until their complaints are met.
Labour minister Nxesi pleaded with the truck driver protestors to re-open the road and then wait at least a fortnight for their demands to be met.
“If you feel three weeks is too much, can’t we make it two weeks? And then we have this committee suggested by the minister and sit and have the discussion. But in the meantime, sivule apha (open) because the economy is affected,” Nxesi said.
“That’s what I’m suggesting. Give us a committee we can speak to. If it means we’ve to sit until the early hours, set up clear programmes, we will do that,” the minister added.
WILLING TO WAIT BUT REFUSE TO MAKE WAY
In the meantime, the goods transporters accepted a waiting period of a week, but are nevertheless unwilling to reopen the blocked Middelburg N10 road.
“We, as SA drivers, have decided to give the seven days the minister is demanding, but in that seven days we’ll remain in this position, until he fixes whatever issue needs to be fixed, but we’ll remain here as truck drivers,” says Truck drivers’ Spokesperson, Lungile Toyi.
The N10 national route begins at Nakop on the border with Namibia. It links Gqeberha on the Eastern Cape coast with Nakop, via Cradock, Middelburg, and the Northern Cape’s De Aar and Upington towns.
Motorists have been urged to use alternative routes.