Truck drivers have been urged to honor agreements on employment contracts and payment rates for drivers, reached between them and the government. This was said by the vice chairperson of the board of Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA), Mr Elias Lukumay when he visited ITV TV station for an early morning news show on the 18th of January 2016.
During the program, Mr Lukumay expressed TATOAs concern over the reduction in the amount of cargo passing through the Dar es Salaam port to the Democratic Republic of Congo; and elsewhere in the region. This he observed, was caused by the implementation of a single customs territory for the democratic republic of Congo which has resulted in massive delays in clearing of transit goods to DRC. It now takes cargo two to three months to clear for transit, thus increasing the cost of doing business for DRC businesses. This has resulted in the businesses being diverted to competing ports in other countries like Kenya and South Africa.
This, he said has had a large impact on Tanzania’s truck owners who depend heavily on customers from the DRC. He urged the government to take concrete steps to address the situation before it escalates any further, costing Tanzania businesses revenue and damaging the reputation of the Dar es Salaam port.
Mr Lukumay also raised a complaint from TATOA members on the recent crackdown by the Tanzania Regulatory Authority (TRA) on vehicles without road licenses. There have been complaints by truck owners on the way the campaign is being conducted.
Talking as an example, he discussed cases reported by truck owners where SUMATRA withheld individual trucks of a fleet from operating until all trucks in the fleet pay the road license fee. This, he said doesn’t take into account the condition of the vehicles in the fleet where by some may not be operational. It also goes against the governing rules and regulations which do not give TRA the authority to withhold a whole fleet of vehicles for the payment of an individual vehicles road license.