Madiba’s wonderful contribution to transport
June Dube, chairman of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) board says: “As the late former President Nelson Mandela said – ‘What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.'”
He continues: “It is extremely fitting that this quote came from the great man himself as he embodied this very ideal. In his mission to fight for a better life for all South Africans he helped to create an environment in which labour relations, including those within the road freight and logistics industry, could improve.”
Dube adds: “As we reflect on the remarkable legacy left by Nelson Mandela, the NBCRFLI wishes to thank him for the instrumental role he played in paving the way towards the establishment of a national bargaining council, which ensures that standard conditions of service and other benefits are offered to employees in the road freight and logistics industry countrywide.”
In August 1994, approximately 2 000 truck drivers staged a blockade at the Mooi River toll plaza to protest their grievances. This incident pointed to the need for a national bargaining council in the industry.
Dennis van der Walt, the then Department of Labour’s director of labour relations worked together with Tito Mboweni, who was at that time the minister of labour in Mandela’s cabinet, to extend the scope of the bargaining council from the Witwatersrand area to the whole of South Africa.
Fred Meier, vice chairperson of the NBCRFLI board, adds: “This remarkable change, which occurred in 1996 while Nelson Mandela was president, has resulted in an environment where the rights of all road freight and logistics industry members are protected at a national level via the enforcement of minimum standards and conditions of employment.”
Dube concludes: “We wish to pay tribute to Mandela for his invaluable contribution, not only to the road freight and logistics industry, but to our country as a whole. Our condolences go the Mandela family at this difficult time. We will miss you, Tata Madiba. May you rest in peace.”