COVID-19 causes shortage of truck drivers

 Trans-Kalahari Corridor Secretariat Leslie Mlungisi Mpofu said, some trucks that supposed to deliver essential goods are experiencing a lack of qualified drivers because some drivers are quarantined while some are scared to travel due to COVID-19.

Mpofu made the remarks on Wednesday at the COVID-19 Information Center in Windhoek during the panel of discussion to mitigating challenges the transport sector is facing during the lock down and the fight against the Corona virus outbreak.

He said due to the fact that truck drivers or any other driver delivering essential goods from outside the country are quarantined for 14 days, it creates a void and leave the truck without a driver for days which leads to the delay of goods into the country. Because available drivers either lack experience or they are afraid of contracting the virus if they travel outside the country especial to South Africa.

“The few drivers that are available enter up spending more time on the roads which leads to exhaustion and the deliveries of goods will be delayed,” said Mpofu.

The Trans-Kalahari Corridor is responsible for administrating the highway corridor that provides direct routes from Walvis Bay to Windhoek and passed through Botswana up to Pretoria in South Africa.

Walvis Bay Corridor Group Chief Executive Officer Hippy Tjivikua who was also part of the panel said, the corridor operates through the Port of Walvis Bay and the Port of Lüderitz, and it have been experiencing lots of delays of goods since the start of the lock down in Namibia and South Africa. And some of the delays were caused by misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the lock down regulations.

“Some of the delays were caused by screening and testing of personals at entry points, but we have now engaged stakeholders from all countries to make sure of smooth coordination and we are expecting improvements from the coming weeks,” said Tjivikua.

Source: Namibia Press Agency