The recent spate of truck attacks across South Africa could lead to very dire consequences for the logistics supply chain, as some supermarkets face a battle to keep their shelves stocked in the run-up to Christmas. Several industry experts believe that some cargo owners ‘may stop sending goods around the country’ – creating small-scale food shortages.
Around 30 lorries have been stolen, burned, or looted during the month of November, sparking a wave of panic within the haulage community. One person was confirmed dead following a truck attack earlier this week. The violence continued overnight after two vehicles were torched on the N12.
How truck attacks could cause ‘food shortages’ for stores
Gavin Kelly told Jacaranda FM that these ugly incidents could have a horrendous impact on the food distribution output of South Africa. With the delivery industry compromised, moving essential items becomes a much tougher task. The CEO stated that some employees simply won’t send their employees out on their road if it seems ‘too risky’.
“When there are attacks on the logistic supply chain, a number of things are going to happen. First of all, you are going to have a number of companies who are not going to operate on certain routes at certain times.”
“That could bring a shortage of availability of road transport in December. You will have other companies that will decide that they are not going to expose their employees to any sort of risk and having their employees burnt.”
“You could find operators who will stop transporting. You could find there are certain cargo owners or manufacturers who are going to decide not to produce goods and not getting them sent around the country – because they will be looted.”
‘Some businesses won’t survive if this carries on’ – DA
President Ramaphosa has condemned the truck attacks, vowing to take action that will end the anarchy currently plaguing our lorry drivers. These sentiments have also been echoed by the DA’s Chris Hunsinger. He states that, should this situation continue to escalate, the very fabric of South Africa’s economy would be destroyed:
“What these attackers seem to forget is that the destruction of these trucks has a wide economic impact – far wider than the financial damage to the trucking company and the driver. Truckers are the lifeblood of the South African economy.”
“With the rails in such disrepair, many South African businesses rely on trucks to deliver goods and produce and would not survive without this vital service. Without truck drivers, our economy would be in even deeper trouble.”
Chris Hunsinger on the possibility of food shortages