The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) last week engaged local truck drivers in Ndola over their threats to paralyse the transport sector in the country by blocking selected highways.
Following the meeting with the local truck drivers, the RTSA resolved to make administrative changes to address some of their concerns.
RTSA Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Zindaba Soko has since directed all driving schools offering training for drivers that drive Dangerous Goods Vehicles to immediately stop imposing expiry dates on the Dangerous Goods Certificate as the current practice is not supported by law.
Similarly, in bid to break the monopoly in the issuance of the Dangerous Goods Certificate, the Agency will be allowing drivers wishing to obtain a Driving Licence for Dangerous Goods to present certification from any recognised driving school as proof of having undergone the said training.
On the other hand, the drivers have expressed concern over unfavourabe working conditions citing amongst other challenges they are facing, employing of foreign drivers in place of locals.
The drivers have demanded that priority be given to Zambians when employing truck drivers adding that a lot of trucking companies are flouting the Zambian laws by employing foreigners.
Mr. Soko has assured the truck drivers that the resolutions of the meeting will be presented to responsible ministries for action.
He however, stated that the RTSA will resolve all concerns within its powers and has disclosed that Road Traffic Amendment Bill which will be presented to parliament soon with the proposal of revising the validity of a Public Service (PSV) Driving Licence from one to three years.
He adds that, the Agency will recommend that a task force involving key stakeholders such as the Ministries of Transport and Communications, Labour, and Home Affairs be formed to look into challenges causing friction in the truck industry.