South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has warned motorists to fill up their tanks as petrol shortages are expected as early as this weekend, due to the ongoing transport and freight strikes.
The union says some of its members transporting fuel to various petrol stations have already stopped working. The union is demanding a 12% wage increase while management is offering 9%. The union has warned that the ongoing strikes will only end when an agreement is reached.
The union's general-secretary Zenzo Mahlangu says “It depends on the reservoirs of the garages and the volumes of cars that they are servicing. But if it runs for a week by weekend they will start experiencing some problem with petrol."
Meanwhile, Ekurhuleni metro police are on high alert as the road freight strike continues amid a stalemate between employers and unions. Numerous roadways in Gauteng including the R21 Highway towards OR Tambo International Airport have been closed due to the violent strike.
Metro police say several trucks in the Germiston Industrial area of Driehoek have also been attacked by the striking workers. Two drivers were wounded during the attacks. Metro officers as well as the SAPS are monitoring the situation.
Metro police spokersperson Kobedi Mokheseng says: “The Albertina Sisulu freeway from the R21 side is currently closed to traffic direction north at the R24 split and the Voortrekker off-ramp due to stoning of trucks and an accident.
“A truck is on fire on Voortrekker road on top of the R21 and motorists must please avoid the R21 freeway direction north from the R24 split, until further notice,” added Mokhaseng.