South Africa’s truck drivers are not alone when it comes to border logjams – although they win when it comes to the severity of the situation.
Thousands of truck drivers were stranded in southeast England in December, prevented from spending Christmas with their families thanks to a logjam in Dover, according to reports from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
A week before Christmas, the French border was closed and the subsequent 48-hour shutdown caused chaos and severe disruptions to the crucial freight routes between the UK and Europe.
Two days before Christmas, France reopened to drivers who showed a negative test result for Covid-19. However, a slow start to the testing failed to ease the massive backlogs.
Desperate drivers spelled out ‘help’ with traffic cones as more than 6 000 remained trapped at the Port of Dover without access to water, decent food, accessible toilets, sanitation facilities, or places to rest outside of their cabs.
They voiced frustration at the lack of information and lack of access to even the most basic facilities.
Most of them spent Christmas in their cabs.
ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton recounted stories of thousands of drivers digging makeshift toilets – and thousands without easy access to food, water or a shower.