Traffic was congested on the N2 outbound near Spine Road earlier on Monday morning after being blocked by a truck but has since been reopened due to a national protest by truck drivers. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Several freeways in the Cape Town metro have been closed due to a national protest by truck drivers, Western Cape traffic officials said on Monday.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the N2 and N7 have been affected, including a number of passes, asking motorists to use alternative routes due to trucks blockading roads.

However, the City of Cape Town said the N2 has been reopened at the Mew Way off-ramp near Khayelitsha and Baden Powell on-ramp following an earlier protest by truck drivers. The N2 outbound at Spine Road was also reopened after being blocked by a truck.

Du Toitskloof Pass is closed due to a truck accident and Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 is also closed to traffic due to trucks blocking the N7 completely, Africa said.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has distanced itself from the planned strike in the trucking industry on Monday and on Sunday.

"News of a nationwide strike in the industry has been widely circulated (on social media). However, we do not know the origins of the call for the strike because none of the legitimate unions within the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry have called for it," said Satawu media officer Zanele Sabela. 

She said they were concerned for the safety of truck drivers and urged trucking companies to be cautious because in the past "strikes called by faceless people have often resulted in gruesome attacks on truck drivers", with trucks being set alight.

"We support all efforts by the South African Police Services to stump out attacks on the country’s trucking industry which are tantamount to economic sabotage," she said. 

The Zambian government issued a travel advisory last week, warning its truck drivers to avoid travelling on South African roads.

Cape Times