Kwanalu calls for removal of Mooi River N3 Toll Plaza
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DURBAN - KWANALU has called for the removal of the Mooi River Toll Plaza, citing the severe risk its location places on the Kwazulu-Natal economy.
The organisation, representing farmers, rural members, commodity groups and agri-businesses in KZN, has recommended to that government that an economic security risk analysis be conducted on the location of the toll plaza.
Kwanalu chief executive Sandy La Marque said the call was made to Minister Thoko Didiza following the unrest in parts of Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal.
"We strongly believe that the findings would more than justify the relocation or removal of the toll in its entirety. We call on the government to acknowledge the risk that exists with its location," Le Marque said.
She said threats to safety at the plaza had been an ongoing problem.
"The closure of the toll plaza during the unrest isn’t something we haven't experienced before. The location of it is jeopardised, and is a catalyst for unrest, a soft spot, and an identified risk for anyone moving good or services through it.“
She said the closure of the toll plaza had dire economic consequences for the agricultural value chain of the province.
"It was the reason farmers had to dump milk, not because they wanted to but because they couldn’t move their goods safely through the toll plaza to the rest of the country; we know that 25% of the milk that is produced in KZN is destined for the rest of South Africa. How do you move milk, eggs and other goods that are perishable, that people consume daily, when it is not safe to do so?
“Our members deserve the right to be able to continue with the day-to-day economic activities of providing food without the threat to lives or financial implications that using the Mooi River Toll Plaza places on them and their employees," she said.
The call is supported by the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa, AgBiz.
AgBiz chief executive Dr John Purchase said that in addition to the move, a high security fence should be erected to secure the freeway through the whole Mooi River municipal area.
“AgBiz understands the problems of unemployment and poverty in this area, but proposes that other solutions to this problem be sought and developed, independent of the N3 security," he said