THE transportation of essential goods and services into Namibia under the current COVID-19 lockdown may be under threat as local truckers have been advised to halt travel to South Africa as strikes loom in the neighbouring country’s logistics sector.
This was announced by the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat (TKCS) which was advised by the South African Government that South African truck drivers intend to implement a “national shut down” on freight and truck movement.
Executive Director of the TKCS, Leslie Mpofu stated that this matter is receiving the attention from the government and the relevant authorities in South Africa are doing all they can to ensure that the action taken by truck drivers are managed in the best manner possible.
“As advised by the South African authorities, the TKCS wishes to advise freight transport operators to note this action by South African truck drivers and further urge them to delay, where possible, travel to and from South Africa till 8 July 2020 or to a period where the situation would have stabilized. Truck drivers are further advised to report all incidents to the nearest police station. The TKCS will continue to monitor the situation and give relevant updates. There was a court interdict yesterday, however, there are sporadic attacks on Truckers in KZN,” Mpofu said.
Harald Schmidt, secretary-general of the Namibia Logistics Association (NLA) also commenting on the subject stated that Namibian truck drivers are fearful of the current situation in South Africa and as such, employers should ensure that truckers returning from SA will park in safe destinations.
“We have received notice on the current situation, it has been building up for weeks now, if this strike continues for even a week, both truck drivers, as well as essential goods coming into the country, will be under threat,” Schimdt said.
South African truck drivers today vowed to continue with the strike until their demands are met which are calling for trucking companies to prioritise hiring South African drivers, instead of foreign nationals.