Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) in Port Elizabeth is appealing to community members for help following violent attacks on its employees, transported in company shuttles.
It said that an employee travelling in a company branded shuttle on Tuesday morning was shot in a shooting incident targeted at the vehicle and its occupants.
Over the last two months, three branded shuttles have been torched, hijacked and shot at – with attempts to murder both drivers and passengers. These incidents took place in the areas of Walmer, KwaZakhele in New Brighton, Motherwell and Soweto on Sea.
The terminal employs 810 employees at its 24-hour operation and provides transport as part of conditions of employment the company has with employees.
Acting General Manager at TPT’s Cape Channel Donald Benning said, “While we can hire private security to escort all our shuttles throughout the day every day, it is not a sustainable solution.
“We are calling on members of the community to please assist us protect our employees. These employees are your fellow community members, please assist by reporting any information that may assist in these ongoing investigations”.
With employees fearing for their lives daily, attendance is on the decline – affecting performance on import and export activities that support the city’s economy.
In a country with seven commercial ports and 16 sea cargo terminals, it is an easy decision for inconvenienced shipping lines to call at other ports and make use of other terminals according to Benning.
“It is in our best interest to keep our city safe and viable as the community. Any information received on these recent attacks will help make those involved face the full might of the law,” he said.
To this end, TPT has set-up an anonymous hotline on 0800 003 056 for members of the community who wish to share any information that may assist with putting an end to the threat on the lives of its employees.
Those with access to the internet can also make use of the email address Security.TPT@transnet.net
Benning said it was not necessary to leave any names or contact numbers when sending an email or making a call.
“Even if people who want to help created temporary accounts to hide their identities, we will understand,” he said.