Motorists urged to avoid N3 Highway near Van Reenen's Pass due to truck blockade

The N3 Toll Concession said severe congestion and delays are being reported from both directions from KwaZulu-Natal and to the Free State.

Trucks are seen parked on the N3 at Van Reenen's between Durban and Johannesburg during a protest on 3 December 2021. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Motorists are on Friday being advised to avoid the N3 Highway near Van Reenen's Pass until further notice as traffic remains at a standstill due to a blockade by truck drivers.

The N3 Toll Concession said severe congestion and delays were being reported from both directions from KwaZulu-Natal to the Free State.

It's alleged some truck drivers were pulled off from vehicles in the early hours of Friday morning by armed men who wanted to check their personal documents.

Police have been on the scene working to trace some of the truck drivers in order to remove the vehicles from the road.

The N3 Toll Concession’s Thania Dhoogra said: “Law enforcement officials remain deployed on scene and are attending to what is happening in order to get traffic flowing again.”

Meanwhile, the Road Freight Association has reacted to the N3 blockade, saying the trucking industry had once again been held hostage by those who prefer to work outside the law.

In a statement released on Friday, the association said it had called on government multiple times to do what was necessary and deal with those who took the law into their own hands.

The KwaZulu-Natal government has called on protesting truck drivers to refrain from using violence and disruption to voice their grievances.

It's appealed to truckers to rather continue with government-led talks to resolve their concerns.

Provincial spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they hoped those behind the blockade would be brought to book soon.

“There is a high-level police team that is currently in the area that is monitoring the situation. We are certain there will be arrests as part of this operation but also the priority is to remove the trucks from the road.”