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The R34 between Empangeni and Richards Bay iin KwaZulu-Natal is closed due to protest action. Picture: SCREENGRAB VIA TWITTER/ RIOT&ATTACK INFO SA
The R34 between Empangeni and Richards Bay iin KwaZulu-Natal is closed due to protest action. Picture: SCREENGRAB VIA TWITTER/ RIOT&ATTACK INFO SA

The #NationalShutdown protest has moved to KwaZulu-Natal as local media reports that roads on the R34 John Ross Highway, between Richards Bay and Empangeni, have been blocked by trucks.

Truckers and taxi associations are protesting against the sharp increase in fuel costs.

Fuel prices jumped by R2.37/l for 93-octane petrol and R2.57/l for 95-octane. Diesel rose by R2.31/l (0.05% sulphur) and R2.30/l (0.005% sulphur).

On Wednesday, the protest hit the N4 route from Komatipoort to Mbombela, formerly Nelspruit, which connects the city to Mozambique. 

By Thursday morning, only the Elandsvalley road was still closed for cleanup after the protest. A tractor loader backhoe was being used.

Solange Soares, spokesperson for Trans African Concessions (TRAC), which monitors the route from Tshwane to Maputo, said there were no reports of further protest action and the road was clear. 

There was an accident between Karino and Mabalel and a stationary truck between Kanyamazane and Matsulu, “however the road is open, and traffic is moving smoothly”.

According to several KwaZulu-Natal local media sites, the R34 is still blocked. 

East Coast Radio is reporting road closures on the R33 between Greytown and Dundee at Keates Drift due to protest action.

According to TrafficSA, routes around the Kruger National Park were also affected by protest action.

Meanwhile, the SA Federation of Trade Unions has called a meeting on Thursday in Boksburg, Gauteng. Saftu intends to share its plans for a #NationalShutdown in protest against the rising costs of fuel, food and interest rates, load-shedding, the austerity programme, privatisation, crime and the “jobs bloodbath”.

TimesLIVE

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