Motorists say the incident of truck drivers blocking the busy N3 road has cost them a lot of money. Some were forced to book an unplanned overnight stay in Harrismith until the situation is back to normal.
Truck drivers blockaded N3 stretch at Van Reenen’s Pass on Friday morning demanding to be prioritised on job opportunities.
The route was fully reopened to traffic in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Motorists say they’ve been badly inconvenienced badly by the protest action of truck drivers, others had to cancel their weekend getaway while others were on a business trip.
The trucks closed off the highway in both Free State and KwaZulu-Natal directions, causing heavy traffic congestion.
Motorists lament loss of money due to truck drivers blocking N3 road:
Motorist Vernice Jenniker says, “Unfortunately, we were on our way back to Durban and from the Shell Garage we were held up for about three hours. We tried to get accommodation and we were told the roads are open, so we took to the road again for about two hours and now there was no longer any accommodation available.”
Motorist Jennifer Fischer says the truck drivers should be held accountable.
“They should be taken to task, you cannot just upset all our lives because you are unhappy. It cost us so much money that we don’t even have. We are actually an NPO, we don’t even get paid for the job that we do but now we must pay for other people who’ve had enough.”
The situation has led to some business people cancelling events planned for the weekend. Women and Men of Valour Director, Sifiso Gumbi says they had to find accommodation due to the protest.
“We were supposed to have an event in Durban tomorrow, now we have to cancel it because the main people for the function are stuck here. The financial implications we had to book and sleepover, we had to buy extra food so it’s a major inconvenience.”
N3 road is one of the economic roads of the country connecting KwaZulu-Natal and Free State. Businesses are worried that the situation will have a serious financial impact as they continue to count their loss.
The N3 Toll Concession has expressed gratitude for all concerted efforts in assisting in the reopening of the N3.
Law enforcement agencies continue to monitor the road.
Update from the Van Reenen’s Pass following truck drivers’ protest on the N3: