Durban - Protesters calling for the removal of a KwaZulu-Natal mayor were blocking part of the N3 passing Mooi River on Monday.
They wanted the removal of the Mooi Mpofana local municipality's mayor, MJ Mpangase, according to the municipality's website.
KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesman Lennox Mabaso said in a statement the department had sent “a high level rapid response team to the municipality to end the protest action which is blocking traffic on the N3 highway near Mooi River”.
KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said officially the road was not closed, but that protesters had closed it. She said a joint command centre had been set up, but that comment needed to be obtained from the police.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane could not immediately be reached for comment.
The N3 toll concession's marketing manager Andy Visser said:
“Our main concern is that of our staff at the (toll) plaza and motorists using the route.”
The protests had started on Friday, but died down over the weekend.
Apart from an unconfirmed report of a car being struck by a stone on Friday, Visser said he had not heard of further incidents affecting motorists.
Most of the problems, including the burning of tyres, were on the Durban-bound lanes near the toll plaza.
The plaza had remained open despite the fact that a number of staff had been unable to get to work because of the protests.
“It hit full swing this morning, but it changes constantly,” Visser said of the protest.
Motorists were urged to be careful and, if possible, delay their departure until authorities had restored calm.
No comment could be obtained from the municipality. Their main switchboard number went unanswered.