Cross-border hauliers have been warned that ‘police’ at Beitbridge are handing out forms to long-distance truck drivers with questions that are “invasive and not legal”, says Mike Fitzmaurice of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta).
Looking at the questions referred to, the association’s chief executive has fair reason to believe it’s yet another attempt by criminals in uniform to prey on unsuspecting truckers.
Apart from requesting personal information and company affiliation detail, drivers are also asked whether they are issued with payslips on a monthly basis, the number of hours they work per day, and how many days they work per week.
Perhaps the most invasive and irrelevant question of all, is “how much do you earn per hour/day/week/month?”
Such information, Fitzmaurice said, could only be requested directly from transporters.
He implored employers not to allow drivers to complete these forms.
It is not the first time that South Africa’s only land border with Zimbabwe has been used by criminals in uniform.
Sometimes exploitation occurs at the hands of legitimate law enforcers.
However, it remains unclear whether the ‘officers’ in this regard are valid SA Police Service members or not.
Fesarta requested private sector representatives to look into the matter at “BBR”, the industry abbreviation used for Beitbridge.
Considering the sporadic hiccups caused by hoodlums and hold-ups at the border, BBR could also easily stand for bribery, bottlenecking, and racketeering.