South African groups ALL Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Afrika have organised a national shutdown strike in South Africa in protest to push the African National Congress government to ban all foreign truck drivers. They are accusing foreign drivers of taking their jobs, a development that also affects many Zimbabwean drivers.

The South African driver’s representative organisations through a post announced on Friday that they will be conducting a national shutdown protest against foreign drivers.

“Bring back our jobs, South Africans first. ATFD ASA and South African Drivers are fed up with this government with empty promises. National shutdown to all drivers until this government meets our demands. Date 20 may 2024,” reads the poster.

“We want zero foreigners in the trucking industry.”

However, as the SA drivers organised the protest, indications are that Zimbabwean drivers also constitute a large number of drivers operating in that country amid fears they would be greatly affected.

However, the Southern African Development Community drivers have expressed concerns over the planned strike against their members although there were no clear protest locations known to them.

They indicated provinces previously affected by an ATDF national shutdown were Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, among others.

SADC Drivers Association representative Edward Muchatuta on Sunday said they cannot tell what is happening because they were not organisers of the planned so-called shutdown.

“We are just observing the situation as it unfolds. At the same time being provocative by mobilizing our structures in the SADC to protect our South African registered truck drivers who will be driving South African borders during this period,” Muchatuta said.

“If ATDF in SA starts attacking other drivers in SA then our structures  in the SADC region will stop all SA registered drivers from moving to protect our members from being attacked by ATDF truck drivers and other criminal elements. We are also not going to guarantee safety to any driver who may move any SA registered truck when any SADC driver is attacked in SA.”

He urged their fellow truck drivers in the ATDF SA organization to contact a peaceful protest against the employers and not to attack fellow truck drivers who share the same grievances but differ on how to address them.

“We call upon ATDF SA to engage other drivers in the region and stop being used by politicians. As SADC Drivers and workers in general we should unite and fight capitalists as a unity. Fighting among each other will prolong the struggle as our factions will defend their territories, a development which will worsen the exploration of the worker,” he said.

The truck driver’s strikes in South Africa have at most instances become violent and deadly to a point of claiming lives.

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