The entire N3, between Cedera & Heidelberg, closed to traffic amid riots

On Tuesday, the N3 Toll Concession said the entire N3 toll route between Cedera, in KwaZulu-Natal, and Heidelberg, in Gauteng, had been closed until further notice.

A screengrab of a video showing trucks set alight during protests in KwaZulu-Natal on 9 July 2021 calling for the release of former President Jacob Zuma from jail.

JOHANNESBURG – Motorists have been warned to avoid using the whole of the N3 toll route following days of violent protests.

On Tuesday, the N3 Toll Concession said the entire N3 toll route between Cedera, in KwaZulu-Natal, and Heidelberg, in Gauteng, had been closed until further notice.

Violence in the Mooiriver area resulted in the torching of dozens of trucks, some carrying cargo, in demonstrations that have now spilled over to Gauteng.

READ: KZN Police on high alert following sporadic acts of violence, looting

The Road Freight Association chief executive officer Gavin Kelly said more than 30 trucks had been destroyed at the weekend.

“We call on the minister of police, minister of transport, and the president to put together an effective plan to stop these actions aimed at destroying our democracy, our economy, and our fledgling new businesses that have had to endure so much under COVID.”

In his address to the nation on Tuesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed the deployment of the South African National Defence Force to communities gripped by the riots.

He said the interventions were vital for restoring calm and stability while preventing further loss of life or injury, protecting property, and safeguarding social and economic infrastructure.

WATCH: Ramaphosa authorises the deployment of the SANDF to assist police

The soldiers have been deployed to support the South African Police Service, who appeared to be outnumbered by rioting crowds who continued to loot malls, shopping complexes and damage property in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Other services that have been affected by the violence include the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the payment of social security grants.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.