Durban - Protests over the escalating cost of fuel has seen protests and road blockades erupt in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
This week, the two provinces experienced disturbances on its major roads as taxis and trucks took part in a protest with fears that the protest could gather momentum and spread to other provinces and cities.
Fuel prices rose by more than R2 per litre for both diesel and petrol on Wednesday. South Africans living inland now pay around R26 for a litre of petrol and just over R27 for a litre of diesel.
Coastal cities pay about a rand less than those living in inland provinces.
On Wednesday, taxis and trucks blocked off roads leading into Mbombela (Nelspruit), as well as roads in the Mbombela CBD.
On Thursday morning, reports filtering through social media showed a blockade taking place on the R34 Between Empangeni and Richards Bay, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Police were present amid the traffic which was backed up for hundreds of metres. Motorists were seen getting out of their cars to assess the commotion.undefined
On Wednesday Mpumalanga Police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said that the protest seemed to have been put together by the taxi industry.
“It was put together by people in the taxi industry. They started at around 4am or 5am this morning,” Mohlala said.
“The roads in the CBD are now cleared and open. All of the trucks and taxis that were there are now cleared. There was no looting. The N4 towards Nelspruit is still closed.
“I do not know if those involved belong to any taxi association,” Mohlala said.
IOL contacted Santaco in Mpumalanga to confirm if they had any idea if their members were involved in the protest, but provincial spokesperson Moses Gama said he had no idea if Santaco members were involved.
Gama said he was making his way into Mbombela to find out more.
Truck drivers were forced to stop their vehicles and park across the road and had their keys taken away by those in the taxi industry, Lowveld JOC member John Meintjies said.
Meintjies said that there were incidents scattered across Mbombela on Thursday, but that the situation appeared to be returning to normal.
“Sporadic incidents this morning around the town. The town itself is quiet,” Meintjies said.
The N4 at the Kanyamazane turn off, on the other side of Mbombela, had been blocked.
In the Pienaar area, passengers were seen jumping out of a bus and leaving the area.