The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mr Mxolisi Kaunda has condemned the blockading of N3 Van Reenen Pass by truck drivers today.

At around 3am, truck drivers embarked on a go slow along N3 in Warden in Free State. By 9am, the protests had moved to Van Reenen Pass resulting in the closure of both North and South Bound lanes.

Currently the traffic is being diverted to Bergville off ramp. This has caused a huge backlog of about 8km and delays to travellers as over 300 trucks are involved.

It is alleged that drivers are protesting against the employment of foreign truck drivers. The modus operandi for the blockades appears to be similar to the ones that took place on the N3 in Mooi River on two occasions. Police are attending to the matter and have increased visibility along the N3. However, in today’s incident, no truck has been torched. Police reports indicate that the braking system of all trucks has been tampered with to ensure that there is no movement.

Kaunda said that the provincial government, led by the Premier has made a number of interventions to resolve the issue including convening a meeting with the truck owners. “Subsequently, I convened a meeting with truck drivers after new threat to blockade the freeway surfaced,” said Kaunda.

Kaunda has urged the truck drivers to desist from the illegal action since government was engaged in negotiations with all parties involved in the matter.