Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Sixty-two people are facing charges of public violence and obstructing traffic after a protest on the N3 shut down Van Reenen’s Pass.

The blockade‚ caused by disgruntled truck drivers‚ resulted in the closure of a stretch of the N3‚ between Harrismith and Ladysmith‚ in both directions on Wednesday.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande condemned the blocking of the road and the torching of public and private property.

The protesters’ disdain was reported by the N3 Toll Concession as being linked to the employment of foreign drivers by local trucking companies.

Law enforcement agencies were deployed to the scene and worked through the night to contain the situation.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbhele said 62 people were arrested for public violence and obstructing traffic and would appear in court soon.

According to the N3 Toll Concession‚ which manages the route from Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal up to Heidelberg in Gauteng‚ the road has since been opened and traffic is flowing.