Durban - Motorists travelling to work from the south of Durban faced traffic congestion today after disgruntled truck owners blocked roads leading to the Durban Container Terminal after their demands for an efficient service was not met.
Truck owners who transport shipping containers to and from the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) are demanding a meeting with Transnet. They claim that officials from Transnet have over the years only given them empty promises.
The protest meant that motorists travelling on Umbilo Road and South Coast Road - two main arterial roads in Durban - faced huge traffic backlogs.
The truck owners claim that the DCT has staffing problems, the equipment is not maintained properly, they did not have hydraulic oil or a tyre replacement company to maintain the hysters and cranes.
Truck owners claim that the DCT turnaround time to offload a container is between 16 and 48 hours which is eating into their profits.
Several years ago the turn around time in the DCT was 90 minutes.
Truck owners claim that they charge an average of R1500 per container to be offloaded in the port. The drivers wages is R500 per day. The driver is in the port for two working days earning a R1000.
Single truck and fleet owners are also feeling the cost of the wait in the port.
The staging area on a busy day has an average of 400 trucks while inside the port has 200 trucks moving containers.
There are no ablution facilities for truck drivers.
Transporters and truck owners slept overnight at the entrance to the DCT demanding to meet Transnet officials.
This has affected shipping because none of the vessels were being loaded or offloaded.
The road closure has caused traffic congestion on uMbilo Road and South Coast Road.
Motorists were seen using the oncoming lane to access the port,surrounding businesses and the Bluff.