Parts of South Africa’s N3 highway connecting Durban and Gauteng remain closed on Wednesday (14 July), due to ongoing violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal.
The N3 is a key trade route between Durban and Johannesburg, with the riots cutting off the flow of food and other essential goods from the country’s biggest port to its most populous city.
The N3 toll concession group, which is responsible for the maintenance of the national highway, said that the route is now open between Harrismith in the Free State and Heidelberg in Gauteng.
However, it advised road users to use this route with extreme caution and warned that the southern section of the N3 remains closed.
“All vehicles will continue to be diverted and/ or turned back from the N3 Toll Route – southbound at Harrismith near the Highway Junction Truck Stop and northbound at the Howick/Midmar turn off.”
The group said that the southern section of the N3 Toll Route will only be re-opened on guidance and instruction of the KZN and Free State Provincial Joint Operational Centres, and only once it has been deemed safe to do so.
It added that clean-up and recovery operations will also need to be completed.
10h00 14/07 #TrafficAlert: #N3TollRoute RE-OPENED for travel between #Harrismith and #Heidelberg. Please proceed with extreme caution. #N3TollRoute between #Cedara and #Harrismith remains CLOSED to all traffic for #safety & #security. Please adjust travel plans accordingly.
— N3 Toll Concession (@N3Route) July 14, 2021
“Unfortunately, the situation around Mooi River and other parts of KwaZulu-Natal remains volatile, causing high safety and security risks for road users, service operators, as well as to the operation and assets of the N3 Toll Route,” the group said.
“Thus, the entire southern section of the route between Cedara and Harrismith remains closed.”