Premier Sihle Zikalala Laments Transport Industry's Failure to Employ Locals, SA Reacts

Premier Sihle Zikalala Laments Transport Industry's Failure to Employ Locals, SA Reacts

  • KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala is berating the trucking and freight industry for its preference for foreign drivers over South Africans
  • Zikalala expressed that the provincial government would engage with stakeholders to find a solution to the problem
  • On social media, citizens took a dig at the government and reminded the politician of the length of time locals have called for reform

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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala is seemingly adding his voice to the age-old debate about South Africans not being prioritised for freight and trucking work.

This has seen Zikalala calling on private and public logistics companies in the long-distance road and sea industry to not "cause problems" by not employing local drivers. He said the KZN provincial government is preparing to engage with stakeholders to find a working solution to the problem.

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Premier, Sihle Zikalala, KwaZulu Natal, KZN, Truck, Freight, Industry, Private sector, Government, Foreign, South Africans, Stakeholders, Durban Harbour, Africa, Police, ANC
Sihle Zikalala is speaking out against the lack of employment for locals. Image: Darren Stewart/ Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images
"We will soon have discussions with the freight and logistics industry as they [are to blame] for the problems. If South African citizens are employed, it will assist in resolving this issue," said Zikalala, speaking to Journalists near the Durban Harbour on Thursday.

Law enforcement agencies were in the area to ensure compliance in the freight and logistics industry, According to News24. Zikalala reportedly told journalists that over the past year, the South African Police Service (SAPS) confiscated about R1 billion worth of counterfeit goods.

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On prioritising local truck drivers over their foreign counterparts, the premier said there were many problems caused by the current approach. This comment affirmed a longstanding thorn in the side of South Africans, who, for many years, have fought to be put first by the government and the private sector.

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Lack of correct documentation

"There have been many complaints about foreign nationals littering the industry. By law, they should be operating vehicles with permits but don't the majority of the time. Not long ago today, five had already been arrested amid the operations," said Zikalala.

Despite the tone or wording of his sentiments, Zikalala, who recently oversaw the handover of a fleet of SUV vehicles to the royal family, according to TimesLIVE, said the provincial government was not against foreign truck drivers.

Instead, he expressed that they should be legally in the country and that the companies employing them be based in Africa.

"We're not saying they can't drive in South Africa. Instead, if the company employing them is based somewhere on the continent, then it's all systems go. More importantly, also, they must possess all the proper documentation to work," he added.

On social media, citizens expressed mixed reactions but with one overriding sentiment: local drivers should be first in line for employment in the logistics industry.

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SA vocal on issue online

Other users, who didn't necessarily respond to Zikalala's comments, dug up the dirt of purported corruption within the African National Congress (ANC).

Briefly News susses the comments below.

@Shabnam Singh Fairgrieve wrote:

"So now government controls who the private sector must hire. Not satisfied with messing up the public sector!"

@Soraya Effendi said:

"The biggest problem is our gov give all outsiders free passes and land to shack up yet we SA citizens can not enter their countries as freely as they do and get land as they do."

@Motlanthe MaBeu added:

"Citizens complained a long time ago government turned deaf ear until elections show that people are fed up with the government that takes them for granted."

Probe to look into whereabouts of late queen's SUV

Elsewhere, Briefly News previously reported that tensions ran high in KwaZulu-Natal over the non-delivery of the late Zulu Queen Mother Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini Zulu's SUV vehicle amid the provincial government's car handover to the royal family in Ulundi.

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Zikalala's office presented six brand new Toyota Prado's meant for the Queen Mother and the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's queens. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) questioned the timing of the gesture, alleging it was a coordinated publicity stunt on the part of Zikalala.

The IFP, which emerged as a formidable force in the province after the municipal elections in November, is now calling for a probe into the whereabouts of Queen Mantfombi SUV, the purchase of which was approved in the 2020/21 Provincial Budget.

"We're not satisfied with the vague explanation offered by the Premier regarding the late Queen's vehicle. He previously confirmed that it was purchased along with the rest of the other cars in the fleet," said Blessed Gwala, a spokesperson for the IFP, in a statement provided to Briefly News.

Source: Briefly News

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