Motorists told to expect delays as 3 lanes opened at Mooi River toll plaza after protests
Three northbound Mooi River toll plaza lanes heading towards Gauteng have been opened following a violent protest on Sunday night during which several trucks were torched.
N3 Toll Concession spokesperson Con Roux said delays should still be expected because the traffic backlog has to be cleared.
Roux said: "A limited number of lanes in a northbound direction (towards Gauteng) at the Mooi Plaza near Mooi River have now been opened to traffic.
"However, heavy motor vehicles have been stacked on the N3 toll route in the vicinity of the toll plaza for more than 16 hours since the protesters torched trucks last night. This backlog of vehicles will now have to be cleared before traffic flow can be restored to normal."
"At this point, the southbound lanes at Mooi Plaza remain closed while recovery and clean-up continue."
35 trucks damaged
She advised motorists planning to travel on the N3 toll route to obtain verified real-time traffic information from the 24-hour N3 Route Helpline on 0800 63 4357 or by following N3 Toll Concession on Twitter: @N3Route.
Roux said problems on the N3 toll route could be reported to the same helpline.
KwaZulu-Natal police earlier said 54 suspects were arrested for the violent protest along the N3.
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the suspects, who have been charged with public violence, were expected to appear in the Mooi River Magistrate's Court on Monday.
The group threw objects on the freeway and set several trucks alight at around 19:30 on Sunday night.
A total of 35 trucks were damaged. News24
Operations resume at Mooi River toll plaza after Sunday's fiery protest
The north and southbound lanes at the Mooi River toll plaza in KwaZulu-Natal have been re-opened for traffic after being closed for almost 24 hours following violent protests in which several trucks were set alight, the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) said on Monday evening.
N3TC spokesperson Con Roux said temporary repairs have been done and the diversion of traffic off the N3 toll route was no longer necessary.
"The N3 Route is now open to traffic," he said.
Roux appealed to road users planning to use the N3 toll route to avoid travelling at night, "if at all possible".
He added that motorists should obtain verified real-time traffic information from the 24-hour N3 Route Helpline on 0800 63 4357 or by following N3TC on Twitter at @N3Route.
Any problems on the N3 Toll Route can also be reported to this number or via Twitter, he said.
Police earlier said 54 suspects were arrested for the fiery protest along the N3.
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the suspects were expected to appear in the Mooi River Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The group apparently set several trucks alight at around 19:30 on Sunday night.
The protest left a total of 35 trucks damaged, according to police. News24
Police make two more arrests after 35 trucks damaged in violent N3 protest
Police have arrested two more people in connection with a violent protest along the N3 freeway near the Mooi River toll plaza in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday night.
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said a total of 56 suspects, aged between 17 and 46, were arrested for public violence and possession of suspected stolen property.
Mbhele said they will appear in the Mooi River Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
"Groceries such as meat, burger patties, rolls of tissues, floor tiles and toilet paper were recovered when the police stormed the area yesterday [Monday]," she said on Tuesday.
Mbhele said that at around 19.30 on Sunday a group of people began throwing objects on the N3 freeway and set some trucks alight.
A total of 35 trucks were damaged, including those that were set alight.
"It is believed that the people who were protesting and throwing stones as well as burning objects had caused extensive damages to property.
"Local police and neighbouring police stations were mobilised and dispersed a number of people who were looting the burning trucks."
According to reports, the violence was apparently in response to the employment of foreign nationals as truck drivers.
The SA National Civic Organisation said on Tuesday that "labour disputes" that led to the violence needed to be resolved.
"We condemn the senseless violence and urge our communities to marginalise and expose opportunistic criminals that are involved in activities that are sabotaging the country’s economy," Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said.
"Any disruption thereof as well the alleged overlooking of employment of locals in favour of foreign nationals will have unintended consequences on trade, tourism, employment relations and efforts aimed at boosting the country’s economic recovery."