N3 truck burning flares up near Howick

A burning truck near Howick last night Source: Supplied

Truck burning on the N3 in the vicinity of Howick and on the R617 towards Boston brought roads to a close and traffic to a standstill as firefighters doused flames and law enforcers fought violent protests.

The N3 northbound between Howick and Merrievale were first closed and then re-opened after Pietermaritzburg’s (PMB) Public Order Police Unit battled to get the situation under control.

The violence flared up last night and protesting crowds were only dispersed this morning.

One report stated that a tanker had been set alight near exit 99 and that large explosions could be heard.

According to one source who took to social media the protests were aimed at the continuing employment of foreign nationals by transport companies.

Late Monday night a truck also caught fire near Hayfields Mall in PMB in an incident that was later confirmed to be unrelated to the kind of truck burning seen along the N3 last year.

The Road Traffic Inspectorate of KwaZulu-Natal nevertheless put out a “full alert” warning that’s in place till Sunday.

Acting CEO for the Road Freight Association, Gavin Kelly, said something sinister was behind the alleged protests and that so-called resistance to foreign nationals was not the real reason for the alleged xenophobic arson attacks.

He said “common criminality” stemming from deliberate destabilisation, for whatever reason, perhaps politically motivated, was behind the violence.

In the meantime the National Bargaining Council is expected to make public sometime soon its findings about truck burning on the N3. 

  -Eugene Goddard 

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