The N3 highway near Montrose, Free State, remains closed off to traffic due to the ongoing protest action staged by disgruntled truck drivers.
N3 protest continues on Tuesday 26 October 2021
At the time this article was published, law enforcement had been monitoring the unrest taking place on the key route that connects Montrose to Harrismith.
Also, it’s believed that the impact of the road block was felt northbound towards Tugela Plaza in Gauteng.
At this juncture, no alternative means of travel have been made available for motorists using the N3 highway in that region. Furthermore, it’s been reported that the highway in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has also been closed off to traffic due to the protest action led by truck drivers.
Why are truck drivers protesting?
From what we understand, truck drivers leading the national shutdown do not plan on relenting until they’ve received an audience from Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, who is quoted in a News24 article, the drivers want clarity on why foreign nationals are allowed to drive trucks in the country.
“They are demanding to see [Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula]. Their main grievance is foreign truck drivers being allowed to drive trucks in the country. The drivers are peaceful and just standing around. No acts of violence have been reported,” he said.
Mbalula, from the looks of his most recent social media activity, has been out of office recently. The ANC leader has been on the campaign trail, finishing off the last round of the party’s electioneering ahead of the 2021 local government elections taking place on Monday 1 November 2021.
No statement has come from the transport ministry addressing the unrest taking shape on South Africa’s key interchanges.