Truck drivers on the N3 heading towards Durban say they are scared over threats of an alleged nationwide shutdown, but say they have to continue working.
This was one of the major economic routes that were shut down during last month’s unrest.
There is a strong South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and police presence on this major highway on Monday.
Show of Force by Sector Inland Central Zone by 1 SA Infantry Battalion under Captain Baxter in support of Inland Coastal, as part of stabilisation Operation in support of the SA Police Service in KwaZulu-Natal.#SANDF#JointOperationsDivision#JointOpsKwaZuluNatal pic.twitter.com/YNJbUSQpiD
— SA National Defence Force (@SANDF_ZA) August 23, 2021
Truck driver Skhosana Mathiyane who is driving from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal sounded a plea for safe passage.
“To be honest with you I don’t feel safe right now. Every time there is unrest, trucks are getting burnt, our lives are in danger. The last time I was in Durban for a whole week I was stuck in Durban. What I can say to the community is the solution is not to burn the trucks because if you burn the trucks, there will be no food.”
Khetha Manqele, also a truck driver, says last month’s violent unrest forced their salaries to be docked.
“Last month’s unrest had a huge impact on us as our salaries were cut since there were days we could not work. I appeal to the community, they need to rethink that burning trucks is not the solution to their grievances. Destruction of national roads will only cripple our economy.”
Truck drivers express their concerns at the Mooi River Toll Plaza:
Meanwhile, law enforcement officers are maintaining a presence at key services in the Durban metro including taxi ranks, conference centres and municipal infrastructure.
While police vehicles have been at shopping centres in Phoenix north of Durban, armoured vehicles have been deployed at taxi ranks in KwaMashu.
The eThekwini municipality said earlier that security forces have been put on high alert and are working together to safeguard lives and properties.
Businesses, shopping centres and spaza shops in areas like Phoenix and the neighbouring township of Bhambayi are open for business.
-Additional reporting by Dries Liebenberg