THE N3 highway was severely backed-up towards both Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Friday after protesters picketed against fuel and VAT hikes. Countless members from the trade union Cosatu came together early on Friday morning to voice their distaste at the recent hikes through signs and songs. The People Against Petrol Price Increase (Pappi) were also involved in the strike, with protesters blocking the traffic entering Durban and King Shaka International Airport for a few hours in the afternoon. In what was the highest fuel increase seen by South African motorists in a long time, fuel prices went up by R1 this month, resulting in petrol being priced at between R15 and R17. Unfortunately, there are no signs of petrol prices decreasing anytime soon, and petrol is expected to increase by another 80 cents per a litre in November.Police were on scene to rationalise protesters and KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate Zinhle Mngomezulu said the traffic was so delayed that people actually began jumping out of their vehicles to walk on the road to see what was happening. “Police were out monitoring the situation and ensured that protesters remained peaceful throughout the proceedings,” said spokesperson for the police Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane.