WINDHOEK – Republican Party (RP) parliamentarian Clara //Gowases has called on the government and the private sector to find a lasting solution to the plight of truck drivers in terms of conditions of service, training, road safety, HIV/Aids awareness and their general wellbeing.
“Truck drivers are not strangers to us. They are our sons, they are our relatives and from our communities. Therefore, as an elected representative of the people, I have empathy for them,” she contributed last week in the National Assembly to a debate about the service conditions of truck drivers.
She said some sort of research needs to be done to evaluate the conditions under which Namibian truck drivers perform their duties.
//Gowases noted truck drivers travel long distances, and they stay for a long time away from their families, and they are vulnerable to HIV/Aids.
“It is a dangerous and risky job but someone in this country has to do it,” she stated.
She said truck drivers also referred to as truckers in some countries, play a very important role in the Namibian economy. They export and import goods and cargo from one country to another- in the Namibian case, mostly to and from SADC countries like South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.
Equally, they also export goods within the country, from Windhoek to the north, south, west and east and vice versa, so it goes each and every day, they are on the national roads to get an income to provide food on the table for their families and the communities they live in.
She said it is therefore important that national leaders need to discuss their conditions of service and find solutions.
“I humbly request the Honourable Minister of Works and Transport (John Mutorwa) to assist us on how to address this challenge,” she requested.
Additionally, she suggested that in order to reduce accidents, why are provisions not made for more truck ports to allow drivers to take breaks, to rest and sleep before driving long distances. She also suggested that trucks should not be allowed on the national roads during specified hours of the day, especially before sunset and before sunrise.
She therefore pleaded with government to conduct some kind of research on the contribution of truck drivers towards the Namibian economy and conditions under which they perform their duties.