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Heavy police presence at Van Reenen’s Pass as recovery process gets under way

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and the uThukela District Commander have arrived on scene at Van Reenen’s Pass. Picture: Supplied SAPS

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and the uThukela District Commander have arrived on scene at Van Reenen’s Pass. Picture: Supplied SAPS

Published Jun 16, 2022

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Durban — The recovery process is currently under way on van Reenen’s Pass after truckers left their trucks on the road, which caused traffic to back up.

The N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) said recovery was currently under way on Van Reenen’s Pass but by 12.30pm, trucks were blocking the N3 Toll Route in a northbound direction in the vicinity of Tweedie in KwaZulu-Natal.

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The N3TC asked motorists to delay travel to the area until further notice.

“Road users are warned to continue to expect heavy traffic congestion and delays in the region,” the N3TC said.

According to police, KwaZulu-Natal provincial police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and the uThukela District commander had arrived on scene at Van Reenen’s Pass.

“Vehicles that are causing the obstruction will be towed away. The arrests of several drivers are imminent,” police said.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison has called on truckers to return to work and not disrupt South Africa’s economy after they parked trucks on roads in the province, causing a major back-up.

Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they were disturbed by the fact that there was a continuous blockage on provincial roads.

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“This morning (Thursday) on the N3 Ashburton, there has been a blockage which resulted in a complete shutdown of the road. However, through the intervention of law enforcement agencies, one lane is now operational,” Ncalane said.

“In Maydon Wharf as well, there have been some disruptions this morning. On the N3 and N11, those have been the spots that have been targeted by the truck drivers that are protesting on various issues that have been ventilated in public.”

KwaZulu-Natal provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and the uThukela District commander have arrived on scene at Van Reenen’s Pass. Picture: Supplied SAPS

Ncalane said that their view was that the barricades and protests were unwarranted because they had opened the doors for engagement with truck drivers and had been working with them on a number of issues, including joint law enforcement operations, where the department had been targeting lawlessness in the industry.

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Additionally, they had engaged through the national task team on a number of legislative amendments aimed at ensuring that all the issues truckers had raised are attended to and were being ventilated.

“We are calling on them (truckers) to desist from barricading the road and to instead go back to work and make sure we open the highways to traffic,” Ncalane said.

“The N2 and N3 are very strategic for the provincial and national economy. Therefore, we are appealing to them to make sure they desist to barricade, and open it for traffic.”

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