Road Transporters Association of Malawi, the grouping of owners of trucks in the country have rejected government set pay hike for trucks drivers.
The association’s president Lyton Dzombe said the government did not consult the association before coming up with the new salary structures for the truck drivers.
The new salaries were recently agreed between the government and the drivers after a strike of the drivers which paralysed the transport sector.
“We are not money as of now. Probably, the government should intervene because when we are contracted to carry goods from Malawi to Beira, we are given US$1, 600 yet we used to get US$3,300 in the past,” said Dzombe.
He said paying drivers K100 000 is not a problem to the employers and that they sympathise with them because the cost of living is very high at the moment.
“But what we are saying is that government must first address our concerns including revising the haulage rates and also devising policies that are friendly in nature to Malawian-owned businesses.
“Policies with most Sadc region countries stipulate that 70 percent of imported goods be carried by local transporters and 30 percent by foreign transporters, but this is not the case currently in Malawi where foreign transporters take up to 80 percent of the business.”
He therefore said the new salaries for the truck drivers were not sustainable.
Meanwhile, the ministry of Transport and Public Works spokesperson James Chakwera said the truck owners and government officials were meeting at Capital Hill to find a lasting solution.