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M2 and R21 highways affected by strike

The R21 and M2 highways have been closed as truck drivers continue with a violent strike.

A truck was set alight on the M2 near Germiston on 27 September 2012, allegedly by striking satawu members. Picture: iWitness

JOHANNESBURG - Motorists are being warned to avoid the M2 and the R21 highway on Thursday.

The warning comes after two people were injured after they were dragged from a truck and beaten as the truck drivers strike enters its fourth day.

The R21 north towards O.R. Tambo International Airport has also been closed after a truck was set alight.

There have also been several reports of striking drivers pelting passing trucks with stones and bricks.

Non-striking workers have been intimidated over the past two days and a total of eight trucks have been set alight, allegedly by striking Satawu members.

About 22,000 truck drivers are demanding a 12 percent salary increase.

Meanwhile, wage talks are at a standstill after both the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) walked away unhappy on Tuesday.

Satawu said it's waiting to be called back to negotiations by employers, after the RFEA lowered their initial offer of an 8.5 percent increase to 8 percent.

RFEA spokesperson Phenwell Lunga said the association will now approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to mediate talks between the two parties.

Officials hope a meeting over wages will be held at midday, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Satawu members will on Thursday gather at Delmore Gardens in Germiston and not the Johannesburg city centre.

The union is still applying for gathering and marching permits through Johannesburg courts, to resume its protest in the inner city.

Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga said they would return to the CBD only once they received permission.

FUEL DELIVERY

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) on Thursday warned of possible delays in fuel delivery.

The association said companies were using their private road tankers to service the fuel network.

SAPIA executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo said there was no need for panic just yet, as the only problem is only a delay in delivery.

Tshifularo said great efforts were being made to service all stations with road tankers.

No shortages have yet been reported by service stations.