Durban: The CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce has slammed yet another blockade of the N3 on Friday morning by protesting truck drivers, between Van Reenen’s Pass and Tugela Toll Plaza.
Palesa Phili said the recurring blockades of the N3 were damaging to the local economy.
“The KZN economy is extremely reliant on the N3 Corridor, as it serves as a critical trade route, connecting our two harbours to the SADC region. Hence, such behaviour cannot become a norm for addressing social issues in South Africa.
“If these protest actions persist it will impact the entire value chain from trucking companies to the receiving businesses.
“Continuous congestion, road closures and concerns of safety along the N3 are factors that create uncertainty and delays in freight turnarounds times and thus creating additional costs for businesses,” Phili said.
He said the eThekwini Municipality Durban EDGE had estimated that when the logistics sector was not fully operational (due to torching of trucks, and blocking of key corridors such as N3, N2 and M7), it loses R800 million in (Gross Value Added) GVA per month or R13,7 million per day.
“Following the Covid-19 pandemic and the July unrest we cannot afford losses such as these, we need to promote an attitude of rebuilding and reconciling.”
Phili said the reason for the blockade was still unclear but the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC condemned, “this disruptive behaviour and calls for urgent intervention”.
“We encourage law enforcement to take the necessary steps to arrest the situation immediately, increase visibility and full coverage of the affected areas.
“As organised business, we call for stability and order. We remain committed to working with the public sector on finding workable solutions.”