Pretoria - Southbound lanes towards Durban at Van Reenen’s Pass have been reopened after trucks blocked the highway, the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) said on Thursday.
Angry truck drivers blocked the N3 causing major traffic back-ups on either side of the national highway.
“Road users should, however, continue to expect congestion and slow moving traffic while the current heavy traffic backlog is cleared,” N3TC said.
The N3TC added that recovery operations are continuing on the northbound section.
“Road users are advised to continue to approach the area with caution and to expect delays while the traffic backlog is being cleared,” it said.
According to police, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Cmmissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and the uThukela District commander had arrived on scene at Van Reenen’s Pass.
#sapsKZN [UPDATE] KZN Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Mkhwanazi as well as the UThukela District Commander are on scene at the #VanReenensPass— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) June 16, 2022
Vehicles that are causing the obstruction will be towed away. The arrests of several drivers are eminent. NP pic.twitter.com/Tc0QsnaBgu
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison has called on truckers to return to work and not disrupt South Africa’s economy after they parked trucks on roads in the province, causing a major back-up.
Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they were disturbed by the fact that there was a continuous blockage on provincial roads.
Ncalane said that their view was that the barricades and protests were unwarranted because they had opened the doors for engagement with truck drivers and had been working with them on a number of issues, including joint law enforcement operations, where the department had been targeting lawlessness in the industry.
Additionally, they had engaged through the national task team on a number of legislative amendments aimed at ensuring that all the issues truckers had raised are attended to.
“We are calling on them (truckers) to desist from barricading the road and to instead go back to work and make sure we open the highways to traffic,” Ncalane said.
“The N2 and N3 are very strategic for the provincial and national economy. Therefore, we are appealing to them to make sure they desist to barricade, and open it for traffic,” he said.