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eSwatini to engage S/African gov’t over attacks on truck drivers

eSwatini has set up a task team to engage the South African government in the wake of attacks on foreign…

eSwatini has set up a task team to engage the South African government in the wake of attacks on foreign truck drivers in the neighbouring country, a senior official said on Tuesday.Ministry of Labour and Social Security principal secretary Thulani Mkhaliphi said the task team was formed following a meeting convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on 19 May and attended by representatives of truck drivers and government ministries.

He said the meeting “agreed that the issue of reengaging the South African government be prioritised.”

“To this end, a special task team comprising the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Royal eSwatini Police Service was formed to facilitate discussions with counterpart ministries and departments in South Africa,” Mkhaliphi said in a statement.

Mkhaliphi said the eSwatini government was appealing to local truck drivers working in South Africa to register on a proposed database by completing a form on their employment details.

“The data will be vital in negotiating any truck driver special dispensation with the Republic of South,” he said.

Tensions have been building over the past two years between foreign truck drivers and South African organisations representing drivers of that country, with a number of foreign-driven trucks burnt and the drivers killed by locals.

The attackers have accused foreigners of taking their jobs by accepting lower pay than what local drivers would accept.

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