WATCH: N3 truck drivers reflect as route reopens
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TRUCK drivers who are now making their way out of KwaZulu-Natal since the reopening of the N3 have been stuck without access to food and ablution facilities for about a week due to the riots in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The Mooi River truck stop was abuzz with drivers making their way to Gauteng and other provinces carrying food and other goods.
Truck driver Bongani Hadebe said he was stranded in Durban from Sunday.
"We've been struggling to get food and find bathrooms to use," he said.
Hadebe said they had access to tuck shops where they survived on eating biscuits and other small snacks.
Mooi River Plaza toll is not operational after it was looted and set alight in the last week. Video: Kailene Pillay/ IOL Political Bureau
He said they were gripped with fear when the heard about trucks being burnt and companies looted.
"I transport mealie meal and I wasn't sure if they'll come for me.
"We stayed at a truck stop but there was only one security guard so we knew we had to guard our own trucks.
"Thank God nothing happened to us but I was so sad for my friends who don't have jobs now," Hadebe said.
Another truck driver, Alfred Masango, of Sesfigile Logistics, was critical of the government, saying “they don't care about us".
"We are suffering. Our government doesn't listen to the drivers," he said.
Masango said the lack of police manning the road has left them fending for themselves and often they were attacked.
"We can't even leave the trucks to go to the bathroom while we on the road," he said.
Truck driver, Alfred Masango was stranded in Durban for five days before finally making his way out of the province on Sunday. Video: Kailene Pillay/ IOL Political Bureau
Masango said he and his colleagues were also stranded in their trucks for the last five days due to the widespread looting and riots.
He said they continuously live and drive in fear "and it's not only now, its always like this".
Mooi River businessman Gordon Odell said some businesses in the Midlands town were also hit by looters but they managed to save the major retail stores.
Odell said he was pleased to see the entire community come together to save their small town and save most of the businesses.
He said residents from Mooi River and Bruntville have joined forces with farmers to patrol the town every night.
The KFC in Mooi River has been looted of all its stock, computers, TVs and kitchen equipment. Video: Kailene Pillay/ IOL Political Bureau
“With all the bad that's been out there, it's been a wonderful building process for us in the town.
"We have all come together and it's been a good cohesion process for us to meet our fellow neighbours, business people and so on," Odell said.