SA's trading partners might shun Durban and use other ports to export their products if truck attacks on the N3 highway continue unabated. According to a TimesLIVE report, economist Mike Schüssler made this comment during a media briefing hosted by the National Press Club in Pretoria on the criminality in the road-freight industry.

The N3 links Durban and Johannesburg, and is the key route into and out of the harbour.

The Road Freight Association said recently that an onslaught against companies employing foreign truck drivers has left dozens dead or injured, and caused R1.2bn in damage to trucks and cargo.

Schüssler said Zimbabwe and Zambia, which use the Durban port for their exports, might consider using Beira in Mozambique more often. A port in Namibia, Walvis Bay, might be also be considered by neighbours such as Botswana.

Schüssler said that although the attacks were apparently aimed at foreigners, many people who were killed or injured were South Africans.

Schüssler said the attacks on foreign workers seem misguided as some of these nationals, such as Zimbabweans, were lawfully allowed to work in SA without a work permit. Schüssler said police had no idea how to handle attacks on trucks and drivers. ‘This is a critical industry for SA. It is as critical as electricity,’ he said.

Full TimesLIVE report