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Team to curb trucker violence

A special team has been set up to monitor the ongoing truck drivers strike.

A burnt truck in Boksburg that was allegedly attacked by striking truck drivers who are on a wage strike on 4 October, 2012. Picture: Supplied.


JOHANNESBURG - A special team has been set up in Ekurhuleni to monitor the ongoing truck drivers strike.

Most of the attacks on working drivers and their vehicles happened on the East Rand, over the past two weeks.

On Tuesday, three trucks were torched near Boksburg and another stoned in Tembisa.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), together with the Motor Transport Workers Union (MTWU), said it's members would remain on strike despite two other unions suspending their strike action.

Initially, the Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) announced it had reached an agreement with all but one union, Satawu.

Spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, Kobeli Mokheseng, said incidents of violence had not subsided since an agreement was reached.

He said they would monitor and patrol over hot spots, which include bridges over highways, industrial sites and railway stations.

He further advised motorists to drive with “extra care”.

Wage talks between unions and employers are only expected to resume later this week.

Workers abandoned tools last month, demanding a 12 percent wage hike per year, for two years.

STRIKE IS CRIPPLING THE ECONOMY

The Department of Transport on Tuesday said it was crucial that the truckers strike ended as soon as possible.

Transport Minister Ben Martins told Eyewitness News that he hoped an agreement would be reached this week.

“We are very confident and happy that the two parties concerned, the trade unions and employers, are constantly talking in order to resolve this [matter].”

Martins said the country's economy was being affected by the strike.

“It’s affecting businesses, but it is also affecting workers – the monies that are lost whilst they are out on strike. It is in the best interests of the country that we find the best amicable solution.”

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