Earlier this week, truck drivers protested over poor working conditions and the hiring of foreign drivers. However, the grievance behind Thursday’s protest has not yet been confirmed.
Authorities also cannot confirm if it was related to ongoing protest action. A group of men “armed with sticks, shamboks and iron” forced truck drivers out of their vehicles before setting the vehicles on fire.
Traffic was diverted at Hidcote, Mooi River and Treverton and roads closed after protesters torched seven truck. The roads were opened a few hours later, but traffic is still severely backlogged in the area.
Moreover, motorists are urged to proceed with caution and use alternative routes, if possible.
Zinhle Mngomezulu, Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson, confirmed that traffic was “backed up in both directions,” and that a clean-up operation along the N3 is currently underway.
Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said that the protest action began shortly after midnight. No arrests had been made. However, a case of public violence was opened at the Mooi River Police Station.
“Trucks were torched on the Johannesburg-bound carriageway, two on the Durban bound. Traffic is being diverted to the R103.”
In addition, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande called on the police to arrest those taking part in acts of economic sabotage by blocking the movement of trucks.
Watch: Trucks burning near Hidcote
N3 near Hidcote. Seven trucks set on fire. pic.twitter.com/igRtnjHHv6
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) March 28, 2019
Watch: N3 closed between Mooi River and Estcourt
N3 Completely Closed Between Mooi River And Estcourt. pic.twitter.com/Lyi4sm0VoA
— SALTruckers (@SALTruckers) March 28, 2019
“Protest action on the N3 in Mooirivier.
If possible, please advise drivers to use alternative routes and to drive with caution as they are burning Trucks.
Both directions of the N3 are affected.” pic.twitter.com/ygkDvEMoy1
— Charles Rembe (@CharlesRembe) March 28, 2019
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