WATCH | Extensive traffic delays on N3 as truck drivers barricade highway

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  • Trucks are blocking the N3 toll plaza causing major traffic jams.
  • The trucking industry says the constant blocking of the route was like holding the industry hostage. 
  • The route is the main connection between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal 

The trucking industry has likened the constant blockades of the N3 between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to a hostage situation.  

On Friday,  truck drivers barricaded the N3 near Van Reenen's Pass leading to traffic delays.

According to N3 Toll Concession, all lanes were closed to traffic on Friday morning.

"An extensive backlog of traffic is already being reported in the area. As a result, the Tugela Toll Plaza is now closed," N3 Toll Concession said in a statement.

Gavin Kelly,  the chief executive of the  Road Freight Association, in a statement also said: "Once again, the transport and logistics industry is being held captive by those who prefer to work outside the law. The vital N3 route between the Port of Durban and the interior has been blocked - again. Violence and looting has occurred according to some reports - whilst individuals have taken the law into their own hands to pull drivers from trucks to check their personal documents.

"Law abiding transporters are subjected to this. The Road Freight Association has called on government again and again to do what is necessary. They must deal with those who see themselves above the law - arrest, detain and investigate the inciters, those who perpetrate these acts, and those who take it upon themselves to act like police or authorities of the State." 

Kelly said the constant road blockages were ruining South Africa's on the continent. "We are fast losing any respect as a safe, efficient and desirable route for the movement of goods out of, and into, Africa - and even South Africa." 

READ | TRAVEL WARNING: N3 blockaded at Van Reenens

The toll plaza was closed in both directions.

N3 Toll Concession said it was unclear why the drivers were blocking the road but law enforcement officers were in the area monitoring the situation.

According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele, no arrests have yet been made. She said police were working on clearing the trucks. Mbele said this was proving to be impossible as the truck drivers didn't have the vehicle keys.

The N3 is the main route connecting Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 

Motorists have been advised to delay travel on the route.

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