Wage talks to resume in truckers strike

Striking truck drivers march in the Johannesburg CBD on 2 October, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN
Striking truck drivers marched to the Road Freight & Logistics Bargaining Council in Braamfontein on Tuesday 2 October, 2012. EWN’s Taurai Maduna reports.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - The National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) will meet again on Wednesday for a third round of wage negotiations to try and end the truck drivers strike.

More than 22,000 truck drivers countrywide have been on strike for over a week demanding a salary increase of 12 percent, while employers are offering around 8 percent.

Working drivers have been intimidated and attacked, and several trucks set alight.

Hundreds of drivers marched through Johannesburg’s city centre on Tuesday and said they would not return to their posts until their wage demands were met.

One truck driver told Eyewitness News he was struggling to feed his family and was living in debt.

"I'm paid R800 a week, that’s it. So how can I survive on R800 a week? I have a family.”

Another striking driver believes their employers see them as nothing more than cheap labour.

“They don’t care about us. They only care for their stock and their trucks - that’s it.”

Drivers said they would settle for nothing less than a double-digit wage increase.


The Western Cape Chamber of Commerce said it hopes the wage dispute between striking truck drivers and employers is resolved soon.

It said some businesses have already seen a delay in the distribution of goods and services.

Striking truckers are expected to hold a march in Cape Town this week.

The chamber's Michael Bagraim said a resolution must be reached soon. 

“Unfortunately the situation is a not a good one. This could carry on for weeks which the country cannot afford. A strike of this nature is disastrous for us.

“There are reports that people are starting to run out of goods. The feeling is that the strike will be fully effective in about a week’s time.”