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Satawu shop stewards to prevent violence

Satawu will send shop stewards to monitor industrial action by truck drivers.

Truck drivers gather in central Johannesburg on 26 September, 2012, as they demand better wages. Picture: Shain Germaner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) on Wednesday said it would send out shop stewards across Gauteng to monitor industrial action and prevent the violence against active drivers.

An estimated 22,000 truck drivers have gone on a countrywide strike after demanding a wage increase of 12 percent each year until 2014.

Strikers in the province targeted working truck drivers in the East Rand on Wednesday with at least 17 incidents of violence reported to police.

At least four trucks were set alight yesterday in Germiston, Springs and Boksburg after another two trucks were burnt to the ground on Tuesday.

Satawu said it condemned the violence, but was adamant its members were not involved.

The union said it would now monitor all industrial areas, especially in the East Rand, to make sure none of its members target working truck drivers.

Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga said anyone caught participating in acts of intimidation or violence would be punished and reported to police.

Meanwhile, Ekurhuleni authorities remain on high alert.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said authorities were working together with the police service to ensure violence does not continue.

He said a large majority of metro officers were deployed to affected areas.

Mokheseng also urged motorists to be vigilant when driving in the East Rand and Johannesburg's CBD where truckers have been carrying out mass action.

If the strike continues, consumers could struggle to gain access to fuel and money in ATMs.