Stalled by the snow

2011-07-28 00:00

THE N3 between the Tugela toll plaza and Van Reenen’s Pass was a hive of activity yesterday with motorists and truck drivers cleaning their windscreens and cracking jokes as they waited for the freeway to reopen.

The road had been closed since Monday evening. Rescue teams from various emergency services cleared the snow on the pass yesterday morning.

Among those stuck in the 25-kilometre stretch were tourists from England, motorists travelling between provinces and truck drivers.

Norman Gillot of England and his family were trapped while on their way to Johannesburg after spending a holiday on the South Coast.

“We arrived in the country in July and all was well.

“This came as a surprise, but it’s one of those things you can’t control,” said Gillot.

“I guess this is an opportunity for us to spend some time with local people,” he chuckled.

His family were throwing a small rugby ball around with some stranded South Africans.

Among the locals was Zingiswa Jongilanga of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. She was travelling to Johannesburg and their bus was halted on the N3 at 9 am yesterday.

“We left Mthatha on Monday and spent the night in Kokstad. We spent Tuesday night in Pietermaritzburg because of the weather and warnings that it could get worse.

“We hope that everyone gets to their destinations safe,” she said.

In the southbound lane Fanele Mabaso of nearby Bergville sat braaiing meat on a small braai stand and cooking pap that she sold to stranded motorists.

“The food is selling fast because people have run out of food.

“I’ve sold out the vetkoeks and coffee and now they are coming for pap and meat,” said Mabaso.

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