Durban — A KwaZulu-Natal councillor has documented the state of the N2 between Pongola in northern KZN and Piet Retief in Mpumalanga.
Councillor Henning de Wet from the City of uMhlathuze took a 30-second video showing the state of the road.
In the video, he was travelling behind a truck.
De Wet reminded the public that it was not some abandoned road in the middle of nowhere. The N2 is a national route in South Africa that runs from Cape Town in the Western Cape to Ermelo in Mpumalanga.
He said it is evidently clear that the ANC government has failed in one of its most basic tasks - maintaining our infrastructure.
De Wet said that the increase of trucks transporting commodities, such as coal, between the mines and our ports has contributed to the rapid deterioration of this road.
“This increase of trucks is due to the current state of our rail infrastructure (and increasing global demand for our natural resources), which is equally concerning, as it has failed to provide a viable alternative to road transport. This failure is due, in part, to a lack of investment in our rail infrastructure, which has led to a system that is outdated and inefficient,” De Wet said.
He said there are also reports of syndicates sabotaging our rail infrastructure, which not only undermines any efforts to improve the system, but also poses a serious threat to the safety of those who rely on it.
“I believe that it is imperative that the government takes urgent action to address these issues - and for this to happen. we need a new government! This should include investing in our rail infrastructure to make it more efficient and reliable, while also cracking down on those who seek to sabotage it,” De Wet said.
In November 2022, side tipper trucks were welcomed back on the N2 after 20 people, many of them schoolchildren, were killed when a truck crashed into a bakkie.
After the incident, the community reacted by stoning and attacking the side tipper trucks, which are mostly responsible for the transportation of coal. The majority of them travel from other provinces to the port of Richards Bay.
According to a notice, as of October 20, 2022, no coal or mining side tipper trucks would be allowed on the R33, R34 and R66. It was a community decision. The notice also stated that Eskom should be fixed so that rail can be used.
The department said that there had also been an outcry from the community of Zululand after the side tipper trucks were forced to use R66/R34 between eDumbe to Empangeni, which is a provincial road not designed for such tons of loads.
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