Three people were hospitalised on Wednesday and several trucks burnt and stoned in violence plaguing the nationwide truckers’ strike, as negotiations deadlocked once more.
This after bosses and workers had earlier edged close to 9 percent but failed to reach agreement. Now positions have hardened, with the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) reverting to its demand for 12 percent and the employers to an offer of 8 percent.
Road Freight Employers’ Association spokeswoman Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said no further meetings were scheduled between unions and employers.
Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga said they would step up the strike in the road freight transport sector to get the employers to the negotiating table.
“Parties have reached a deadlock.“
In Cape Town, about 450 striking truck drivers set alight two trucks in Nyanga and pelted many more with stones, police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said on Wednesday. He said the truck drivers, who were on their way to deliver meat in the area, ran away.
“The New Eisleben Road and Emms Drive in Nyanga and the Lansdowne and Mew Way intersection in Khayelitsha were very dangerous,” Van Wyk said.
No arrests have been made as yet and police and metro police will patrol the Nyanga area and the N2 Freeway until the situation calms, he said.
eThekwini metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said a driver and two assistants were injured when they tried to get away from striking drivers on Wednesday.
The driver tried to drive away from the protesters, but collided with a car before smashing into a tree.
He sustained serious head wounds, while his two assistants were lightly injured. The three were taken to hospital.
Msomi said the strikers had converged on Pinetown after about 500 had earlier staged a peaceful march through the centre of Durban.
Three drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles and flee when they were attacked, allegedly by striking drivers who also torched their vans and truck in Ekurhuleni.
Two others were allegedly badly assaulted with knobkierries and sjamboks when they failed to flee on time. They were later taken to hospital.
Spokesman for the Ekurhuleni Emergency Services, William Ntladi, said a two-ton truck was burnt just after 2pm in Germiston.
“The truck was just returning from delivering recycling material. The striking men allegedly stopped in front of it and the driver was forced to stop.
“There were three people inside and the driver escaped unharmed. The others, however, were assaulted with knobkierries and sjamboks by the men, who then torched the truck,” Ntladi said.
In the city centre, striking road freight employees were given 30 minutes to disperse from the Library Gardens after metro police declared their protest illegal.