Mpumalanga police say the N4 was closed for a few hours on Monday in Waterfall Boven after five trucks were forced off the road and caught fire late Sunday night. The incident follows a similar attack in the early hours of Sunday morning Van Rienen Passas the N3, a major artery for South Africa’s economy, was closed for several hours.
“We are not sure if they are related or not at the moment. We are not sure if it was just a crime or if it was related to the attack in KZN,” said Mpumalanga police spokesman Brigadier Sylvie Muhlala. Daily Maverick.
Investigations are ongoing and Mohlala said officers remained at the scene in Watervalle Boven, where a visible police presence would no doubt be welcome.
Mohlala said the trucks targeted in the Mpumalanga attack had various cargoes, including citrus fruits and coal. They were traveling on the westbound passes towards Gauteng.
On the N3, the southbound lanes were initially opened on Sunday in a way that allowed traffic to flow in both directions.
Read more at The Daily Maverick: KZN’s deadliest, truck-ridden highways need relief from a functioning rail network
This kind of criminality is always disturbing. Disturbances on two highways important for the movement of goods and commodities stress the Consequences of crime on the South African economywhich is estimated at about one trillion rand annually.
This is July, too, and the events eerily coincide with the second anniversary of a wave of truck attacks on the N3 that led to more than a week of rioting and looting in KZN and parts of Gauteng, during which more than 350 people died. It caused R50 billion in damages.
Hopefully, recent events will prove to be an isolated and not a snowball in barbecue truck season. The potential for social unrest in South Africa is very high in the face of an unfolding cost-of-living crisis, crippling energy shortages, and escalating political tensions ahead of the 2024 elections. This is an area to watch closely. DM