Protests in Howick. Picture supplied.
Durban - Violent protests mainly targeting long-distance trucks reared its ugly head again on the N3 between Merrivale and Howick in the KZN Midlands late on Thursday night. 

The N3 Northbound had to be closed but the roads were reopened to motorists after the intervention by the Pietermaritzburg Police Public Order Unit in the early hours of Friday morning.

There were also protests in the R617 between Howick and Boston near Mpophomeni. 

On Facebook, Michael Wright posted on the SA Long Distance Truckers page that a tanker was set alight on the N3 pass Howick near exit 99. He reported large explosions in the area. 

The cause of the protest was still being investigated. The KZN Community Safety and Liaison department, the police and Road Traffic Inspectorate did not respond to media queries. 

In a social media voice note, a man said that the protest was against all foreigners taking local South Africans job opportunities in all working sectors. The message also said truck drivers were unhappy about those doing cross border driving.
 
In April last year, violent protests occurred at the Mooi River Toll Plaza that resulted in the burning of 35 trucks. Trucks were also looted. 

Daily News