Chaos erupted last night, April 29, on the N3 near Mooi River. Protesters set 23 trucks alight along the road between the Mooi River toll booths and Treverton off-ramps.
Due to the extensive clean-up operation, The N3 Highway North and South Bound roads are now closed. With traffic now being diverted, holiday-goers now face the daunting task of making their way home.
But why are protesters burning trucks and wreaking havoc on national highways?
Provincial Transport spokesperson, Kwanele Ncalane, said the burning of trucks is a great cause of concern. Not only did it take place on one of the busiest highways, at the end of the long weekend, it is not the first-time protesters turned violent. One of the most recent being the protests taking place over the Easter weekend, also at the Mooi River Plaza. Information on the Easter weekend can be viewed in the following SABC link.
The issue is apparently linked to truck drivers protesting about the employment of foreign drivers. But, it seems the burning of trucks is becoming a concerning trend which needs to be looked at. Instead of burning trucks, Ncalane says that it is imperative that truck drivers follow regulations and speak to the labour department.
Over 50 people are in custody regarding last night’s incident and several them are allegedly not even employed in the truck industry. It seems they were swept up in the frenzy and assisted in the burning of the trucks and looting.
While roads are calm today, it is only a question of how further incidents can be avoided to ensure property and people are not endangered in the future.
What steps are the police or army taking against such major acts of terrorism? Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on the situation? What do you feel should be done to the protesters responsible for the havoc? Let us know in the comment section below.