In a statement that would perhaps be better placed in a Mad Max movie rather than a functioning, democratic country, traffic management officials for the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) have urged drivers to avoid the highway “during the hours of darkness“.
Why the N3 is under threat
The sombre advisory was made at the start of the month, but its implications are only just being realised now: It follows a spate of attacks on commuters and truck drivers who use the N3 highway, and those who have seen their vehicles either torched or vandalised in a life-threatening manner.
R59 closed truck burning from sasol to vereeniging need to take voortrekker offramp to mis it pic.twitter.com/5H5YvBl8YO
— SALTruckers (@SALTruckers) June 2, 2019
It reflects a rather sad state of affairs on South African roads at the moment, with cargo lorries bearing the brunt of this violent behaviour. It is believed that a number of these vehicle attacks are motivated by the fear of “foreign workers”, who are securing long-distance driving jobs over their South African counterparts.
Traffic from Johannesburg to Durban affected
In their traffic warning, the N3 group ask passengers to plan long-distance trips “during daylight hours”, avoiding nighttime travel if possible. As these particular crimes don’t occur on one specific route, authorities have had to take the unusual step of issuing a blanket warning for the route which connects Johannesburg to Durban.
Con Roux is N3TC’s commercial manager. He has asked all motorists who use the highway to co-operate with the travel advisory:
“It is advisable to rather plan long distance trips during daylight hours. South Africa’s road network forms the backbone of our economy. All support to help us ensure that our roads remain as safe as possible are appreciated.”
N3 traffic latest: Advice for drivers
However, drivers aren’t just being told when they can commute: They’re also being asked to phone the N3TC’s 24-hour hotline before they embark on their highway journeys. The extra precaution to verify travel conditions is seen as a necessary step in securing the safety of all road users on the carriageways.
Motorists are also requested to report any suspicious activity on the N3 Toll Route to this same emergency number (0800 63 4357). Such activity could, amongst others, include:
- Stationary vehicles and trucks.
- Any concerning pedestrian activity.
- Groups of people assembling near / on highways.
- Objects being placed in the road.