The N3 national highway – South Africa’s most important road trade route from the Port of Durban to the economic hub of Johannesburg – is open.
This was confirmed by the Road Freight Association (RFA) on Friday.
“The Road Freight Association is delighted that the N3 highway has re-opened to all traffic,” it said in a statement.
This follows the unrest that has gripped KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng over the past week, which began with violent protestors and arsonists blocking major roads in Durban last Friday and torching trucks at the Mooi River toll plaza on the busy N3 route to Gauteng.
“Whilst we anticipate some delays and congestion due to the high traffic volumes, we are now able to resume the vital task of delivering goods both countrywide and beyond our borders,” said Gavin Kelly, CEO of the RFA.
“We are doing our best to get essentials in to where they are needed and to address the massive backlog that has occurred as a result of the happenings over the past week.”
“We are doing our best under trying circumstances to ensure that no-one endures food, fuel and medicine shortages – working closely with our compatriots in the retail sector, to allow them to re-supply stores,” he added.
“The N3 is a strategic corridor: every day the value of goods that travel on this highway alone is estimated to be around R3 billion.”
“Thankfully, trucks can now start the wheels of the economy along this corridor turning again, enabling many businesses to resume operations,” said Kelly.
“Whilst what has happened has had an enormous impact on every company and every person in South Africa, it has been heartening to witness communities coming together, protecting what is theirs and actively working together to start re-building what we have lost,” he said.
“The protection of trucks, the employees, the loads and distribution centres remain paramount for the RFA and we call upon law enforcement to remain active and vigilant in protecting the N3,” Kelly stressed.
“The safe passage of goods and people on this important route is vital. We cannot allow a repeat of last week’s senseless violence and looting,” he added.