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No ‘massive 24-hour’ roadblocks to find ‘illegal foreign’ truck drivers in South Africa

“Massive 24-hour roadblocks to remove illegal foreign truck drivers from the road,” reads a message circulating on Facebook in November 2020.

It includes a photo of a long line of vehicles that seem to be waiting to pass through a roadblock. The police uniforms and vehicles, and registration numbers on the cars and trucks in the queue, confirm that the photo was taken in South Africa. 

But was the roadblock to remove “illegal foreign” truck drivers? We checked. 

No credible reports of 24-hour roadblocks

The message was first posted on the Facebook page “Izindaba-Ditaba-News”, which describes itself as a “news and media website”. It was created in August 2017 and has more than 170,000 followers. 

The post offers no further information, other than a link to an article on the website SA Trucker.

The article, published on 30 November, is headlined: “Massive 24-Hour Roadblocks To Remove Illegal Foreign Truck Drivers From The Road”. 

It says the All Truck Drivers Foundation, which advocates that only South African truck drivers should be employed, has “successfully managed to force the government to act on undocumented immigrants allegedly driving trucks in South Africa”. This supposedly came after a meeting between the foundation and the country’s labour and home affairs departments. 

But the article does not give details on the meeting – where and when it took place, and its outcome. 

A search for other news reports that could corroborate the claim did not return any credible results. If there had been 24-hour roadblock to remove “illegal foreign” truck drivers from South Africa’s roads, it would have been widely reported.

Photo from April Covid lockdown

What about the photo in the Facebook post? It is real, but not recent. A reverse image search reveals that it was first published online more than six months ago. It shows a roadblock on the N4 highway between South Africa’s Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces on 17 April. 

The roadblock was intended to ensure public transport operators and other road users were adhering to Covid lockdown regulations. 

The photo, snapped in April, can’t possibly show a roadblock to remove “illegal foreign” truck drivers from a road in November. The claim is false. – Africa Check


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