Taxi Associations help alleviate traffic congestion in Mpumalanga

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Taxi Associations in Malelane and Komartipoort, Mpumalanga have decided to escort trucks along the N4 toll road leading to the Lebombo border post with Mozambique.

Trucks en-route to Maputo in Mozambique have been blockading the road, causing traffic congestion on the busy toll road.

About 29 Taxi Associations from all over the country have initiated a patrolling team, under the Lebombo Maputo Corridor Transport Logistics to manage the situation.

This, to ensure seamless flow of traffic and also the safety of the truck drivers in the wake of the truck attacks.

Better intelligence needed to curb truck violence: Willem Els:

Lebombo Border Post

Lebombo border post is one of the busiest port of entry in the country. It is a gateway to Maputo Harbour which is an alternative to the busy Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.

Delivery trucks spend hours or even days queuing to cross the border into Mozambique. They caused traffic congestion in Komatipoort, the last town before the Lebombo Border gate.

This left other road users and the locals frustrated.

Now, about 30 marshals are patrolling the N4 road day and night. The Chairperson of the Lebombo Maputo Corridor Transport Logistics Joseph Ntamele says their business was suffering as a result of the chaos.

He says taxi drivers and passengers were attacked when stuck on the road due to the traffic jam caused by the trucks.

“We checked we see all these problems come from this road because of these trucks. Number one, the truck companies they push the drivers to go fast to deliver in Mozambique because they get the money from the load, there is no basic salary, once they do that they close the road for everyone and the road is closed the cars get robbed and the women are raped.”

The recent widespread truck attacks has exacerbated the situation. Truck drivers feel unsafe to spend the night in Komartipoort while quieting to be processed to cross into Mozambique.

One of the marshals patrolling the N4 Samora Cossa says their aim is to ensure the safety of truck drivers and all the road users. “We are being attacked here, some of the truck drivers don’t comply. My hand is injured now, I was stabbed by a truck driver and suffered six stitches, we are not fighting them.”

Locals commend initiative

The locals have commended the taxi operators for this initiative. “It’s also affecting us coming to town and the access to schools. And the taxi associations have brought some order. We are able to move again, able to move to town and transport our products.”

The Lebombo Maputo Corridor Transport Logistics has called on government to come on board and assist in managing the situation.

Meanwhile, the suspects including the two truck drivers that were arrested for allegedly torching trucks in Mpumalanga are expected to appear before the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Truck Attacks l Taxi associations escort trucks on the N4 to ensure safety from further attacks: