N3 reopens after truck protest but drivers face wet-weather warning

The N3 highway between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal was fully reopened early on Saturday morning after a truck protest that severely disrupted traffic, management of the N3 Toll Concession said.

Truck drivers barricaded the N3 toll route early on Friday, causing major disruptions at Van Reenen’s Pass.

A massive traffic build-up was reported in the area, and the Tugela Toll Plaza was closed for northbound traffic.

Truck operators said government failure to provide feedback on the employment of foreign drivers resulted in the protest action.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker confirmed on Friday  that “a number of truck drivers were taken in for questioning after trucks were parked across both lanes of the N3 near Van Reenen”.

He added: “In the early hours of this morning police were notified of the blockade and responded to the scene. Police officers found that the trucks were abandoned by the drivers who removed the keys before they left.

“Police were able to locate the drivers and the keys for their vehicles.”

Thania Dhoogra, N3 Toll Concession’s operations manager, said the road was fully reopened at Van Reenen’s Pass and Tugela Plaza early on Saturday.

“These disruptions place an additional burden on law enforcement, emergency services and road users, not only on the N3 Toll Route, but on the entire region,” she said. 

Traffic was flowing freely and no incidents had been reported. “Road users should, however, be aware that wet weather conditions and poor visibility may be experienced along large parts of the route this weekend.”

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