Work permits for foreign truck drivers

Tarryn Pokroy Rietveld June 8, 2010

It is important to note that as from 1 July 2010, the Department of Home Affairs has advised that they will no longer be permitting entry to foreign truck drivers unless they have work permits.  The Department has advised that any such foreign truck drivers will be required to have work permits, whether or not the truck has been registered in South Africa or outside our borders.


Photo credit: HVargas

If such truck drivers from foreign countries need to enter South Africa for the purpose of driving a truck, which forms part of their trade, occupation or profession, then such person will be required to have a work permit endorsed in their passport.

Previously, the situation has always been that such foreigners were entitled to enter South Africa on visitor’s visas and perform the necessary tasks within South Africa and leave prior to the expiry of such visitor’s visa.  This is obviously no longer the case.

This will obviously have a major impact on the road freight industry due to the tiresome process that is involved in obtaining a work permit.

Should you require any assistance with this kind of work permit, or any other immigration issue, please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

About Tarryn Pokroy Rietveld, the author

Tarryn Pokroy Rietveld holds a LLB Degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently in the process of completing her Masters Degree in Law, more specifically in the field of Constitutional and Administrative Law. At university Tarryn made her way onto the Deans List of Merit two years running for 2003 and 2004. She was involved in and headed up a University Organisation called Educating Prisoners About Human Rights. Tarryn is now working with Julian Pokroy Attorneys and, in the spirit of the firm, is also focusing specifically on Immigration and Nationality Law.

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  • Reinette

    What type of Work Permit is required and how can one obtain such a permit?

  • Tarryn

    Dear Reinette

    The general rule of thumb is that any foreigner that is working in South Africa, whether he or she is remunerated here or not, requires a work permit to do so. With truck drivers, each situation is unique and what work permit is applied for is largely dependant upon the employers requirements for that driver/s.

    I would suggest you email us at with further case specific details to allow us to do a proper assessment.

  • Guus

    Dear Tarryn, what is the use of the crossborder agency from today onwards, they issue permits to collect and deliver loads anywhere in sadc countries. Surely for the crossborder transports we can allow foreigners in to SA? We have heard these rumours also in Angola, what do you think the Namibian government is going to do? Thanks, Guus

  • Tarryn

    Dear Guus

    Please take note that the most confusion that seems to be arising here is in respect of who these permits are applicable to – I think this may be the answer to your question as well. This dispensation is only applicable where a South African operator, owning the relevant South African registered vehicle, hires a foreign truck driver to work for them in South Africa. Where the vehicle is being driven by a Company registered outside South African borders, the situation remains the same as it has always been. This new dispensation does not affect such Foreign Companies, only the South African ones.

    I trust this answers your question.

  • Guus

    Just to give a big thank you for your reply. It makes sense that way. Regards, Guus

  • Pmagwere

    It seems a bit out of sync to include drivers for vehicles registered in other countries. It would mean a driver may need 5 or so work permits endorsed in their passports. I say so because a trucking company based in, say, Moza may be plying in SA, Zim, Zambia, DRC, Malawi….If these rules are applied in all these countries it would be onerous considering bureaucracies in Home Offices especially SA.





    Name        :                 
     Ajie Valentine

    of Birth:                Tombel

    of Birth:               24/11/1978

    Marital Status:             Married

    Nationality:                   Cameroonian                                 

    Gender            :             Male

    Telephone        :         

    Email   :              

    Address           :                C/o Catholic Mission
    B. o. box 119 Tombel

    south west region.




    I am a heavy duty
    truck driver mechanic with outstanding qualities for more than 13 years. I am a
    graduate from government technical high school Limbe with an interest in
    position of truck driving and mechanics, Also in repairs and maintenance of all
    types of engines from heavy duty trucks. My certificate as a heavy duty truck
    driver from ETS CHARLY TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL, makes me very competent for the position
    mentioned above and I am perfectly bilingual, very  fluent in English and French.(both written and
    oral).I speak very fluent pidgin (creole).I have good knowledge of all types of
    heavy duty trucks, driving and mechanics.





    Working with the United
    Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in minurso  peace keeping mission in Morocco as a Vehicle Mechanic under
    project N/A, which is being implemented by MINURSO the vehicle mechanic will be
    responsible for the following duties: Assists in identifying, diagnosing and
    rectifying various faults.

    – Assists with the identification of required

    – Performs vehicle mechanic team site duties
    on a roster basis.

    – Perform any other tasks as required.





    then drove a heavy duty truck 20tons
    [mercedez benz) for Mr. John Nganjui, for four years and I was transporting
    cocoa and coffee to the Douala
    seaport for exportation. I drove in many parts in the country to ensure that
    all the demand of my boss was delivered in time. I rendered my service without
    any problem and I also made daily, weekly and monthly trip tickets to the
    office respectively. I supervise workshop mechanics and assistant mechanics, issues
    guidance and instructions on the repairs of fleet of all garage vehicles and
    that of personnel. I was directly responsible for all vehicle repairs which has
    to be done in the bush (outstation emergency maintenance) and make sure that
    all repairs vehicle will return to our main garage in good working condition. Working
    as an automobile/garage store keeper, I manage the ROYAL & Sons car the service, which handle a fleet of
    commercial and private cars-both diesel and petrol engines. I administered all
    vehicles entering and leaving the garage as well as 90 drivers for the above-mentioned
    period. Analyse monthly requisition and procurement from local and
    international markets protections on the spare parts, other items and equipment
    for the store; assigns the packages of various part for shipment out of repair
    or repackages stock for return of defective parts as assigns, labels items with
    proper stock numbers for movement to storage area determined and plan staffing,

    of motor parts, ensures the placement of parts on appropriate shelves or in
    various bins and alerts managers attention to any defective items, issues the
    supplies of parts in response to authorised requisition based on the knowledge
    of parts in storage. approve expenditures of funds refers to manager if supply
    require are in short supply and make immediate requisition, recommends
    vehicles, spare parts, and other items for sale such as gasoline, hydraulic
    fluids grease, breaks, and lubricating oils, replacement of number plates and
    other types of vehicles needed for fleet operations, arrange the sale and
    purchase of vehicles and spare parts, stock taking and update prices,  determine appropriateness of parts request, and
    makes survey in the market or by other parts vendors for price changes, co-ordinate
    vehicle accident reports and immediate evaluation of the cost of the parts damage,
    select and train 4 staff on the management of the stores motor parts; schedule
    work and establish  priorities in the
    workshop, supervise the delivery and the requisition of spare parts. Perform
    other duties as require by the management.




     Under the direct supervision of the garage
    foreman, I was directly responsible for the following: repairs and maintenance
    of a mixed of fleet of heavy duty truck vehicle. I was required to disassemble
    adjust, repair, and reassemble engines, transmission, clutches, differentials, brakes,
    axels and steering mechanism. Recover the broken down and accident truck to the
    workshop for eventual repairs or further decisions and assist the workshop
    foreman before handing over repaired trucks to the clients. Final inspection to
    ensure that repairs are done to workshop standards and to the satisfaction of
    the client, Carry out maintenance on all commercial pattern vehicle at
    scheduled kilometer intervals such as changing engine oil, greasing other
    moving parts, checking breaks, batteries, light control, steering and other
    components, in making necessary adjustments and replacing worn out parts with
    the help of a log book. Checked all vehicle and equipment received at the
    workshop to determine the nature of the repairs required.



    Working as heavy
    duty truck driver/head of garage/fleet manager with Eat Chemistel & Cocoa
    and coffee buying and exporting company, I then drove a trailer for this company
    for more than three years and I was transporting building materials, cocoa and
    coffee from the economic capital to other parts of the country and I was the
    head of every convoy. I also transported drinks from Douala
    – Cameroon to Chad and Central African republic for more
    than two years in the same company mension above. I was responsible for checking
    the trucks and made sure that it was clean and also in good working conditions
    all the time. I also did all the necessary mechanical work for my truck and
    also for all the other trucks that was in our company. I was in control of the spear
    parts store and I made daily and monthly reports to my head of office
    respectively. I delivered my services without any problem and I was directly
    responsible for all trucks repairs which has to E done in the bush (outstation
    emergency maintenance and make sure that all repaired trucks will return to our
    main garage in good working condition.



    Work with Ngolle & Son Company.

    Responsibility transpïrt of drinKs from Doual!
    – Cameroon to Chad and central Avrican republic and H also drove a
    trailer”for this comp`ny and I was respmnsible for all repairs in this
    same company,$Managing spare part store as`wells collect all spare which are
    removed from thå trucks and”cars, arrange the tewtIng of new apprentice
    mechanics in all transmission sqstem boôh(manual and Electronic assist
    with the training ald coachiNg of technmcians, Assisv and advice top }anagement
    o. budget for new vehicles, spare parts, garage equipment and tools. Managing
    the implementation of preventive and corrective maintenance, under chasis
    repairs, auto-electrical repairs and gas welding.




    Good knowledge of
    road traffic rules and very good driving skills on various heavy duty trucks. Strong
    background in warehousing and inventory control. Good ability to work pressure
    and more than 6 years in fleet management.



    -I have the ability
    to work with personnel’s of different nationalities.

    -I have the ability
    to work for long hours without complain.

    -I have the ability
    to work in difficult conditions with little or no comfort.

    -I have the ability
    to driver4*4 vehicles.

    -I posse a good
    interpersonal skill in coordinating field workers.





    completion of a four years course in the Government Technical High School Limbe
    with a pass in the Baccalaureate Certificate.



    Attended and
    completed primary school with a pass in first school leaving certificate.




    English-very fluent
    oral and written

    French-very fluent
    oral and written

    Croele-very fluent



    I have some basis
    knowledge of some soft ware programmes i.e. MS words, MS excel, power point and
    on the internet but I can learn very fast.





















  • Lone Mountain Truck Leasing

    Here give a good post. Independent truck drivers know this, so do a large shipping company. Therefore, they have their truck washed more frequently, especially the notorious violations of those countries in the machinery.