Traffic in the Bayhead precinct which had been backed up for nearly two days this week following a truckers strike that caused massive delays in Transnet's port operations was cleared on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Traffic in the Bayhead precinct which had been backed up for nearly two days this week following a truckers strike that caused massive delays in Transnet's port operations was cleared on Wednesday afternoon.

Motorists travelling from the south of Durban into the city centre faced major traffic jams and delays of up to five hours as truck driver clogged the main arterial routes to the Durban port and terminals on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) reported that the backlog was cleared and port and terminal operations were proceeding smoothly

According to an internal communiqué to staff, Transnet had said it was aware of a planned truckers and warned that truckers were planning a stayaway from the Port of Durban as a result of their dissatisfaction with operational inefficiencies there.

However in its statement on Wednesday the port authority did not mention the truck strike.

It said that TNPA, SAPS, Durban Metro Police and terminal operators had worked tirelessly to ensure that operations at the various depots and terminals in the precincts returned to normal as soon as possible.

"Integrated measures to clear the traffic backlog, inclusive of the arterial roads feeding the Bayhead and Island View Precinct, assisted in easing the gridlock,"  Transnet corporate affairs manager, Ayanda Somagaca said.

"The congestion began on Tuesday, 26 November when one of the privately owned container depots began experiencing congestion in their stacking yard, leading to a build-up of traffic on Bayhead Road. The situation was exacerbated when frustrated truck drivers began attempting to drive contra flow.  Transnet endeavoured to make alternative transport arrangements for employees working across the terminals and depots in the Bayhead and Island View Precincts, who were unable to access their work stations on time for duty. This affected landside and waterside operations at Durban Container Terminal Pier 1 and Pier 2 which were working with minimal resources," Somagaca said.

At the height of the disruption this week, TNPA  used its waterside craft to ferry employees from the Point to the Bayhead and Island View Precincts, when they could not make it to work due to traffic congestion.

Daily News