Last-minute 'exodus' as commuters leave Joburg before national lockdown

26 March 2020 - 18:17 By lwandile bhengu
The N3 toll concession says they received an influx of traffic on the N3 as people tried to leave Johannesburg before the lockdown
The N3 toll concession says they received an influx of traffic on the N3 as people tried to leave Johannesburg before the lockdown
Image: N3 toll route via Twitter

With just hours left before the national lockdown, the N3 has been flooded with last-minute travellers trying to make their way out of Gauteng before the clock strikes midnight.

Various travel restrictions in and out of South Africa are in place following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a national lockdown between midnight of March 26 and April 16 2020. Local travel between provinces has also been prohibited. Here's all you need to know about travel in and out of SA.

N3 toll concession spokesperson Con Roux said that the road, which connects KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Free State and Mpumalanga, had received an influx of people by lunchtime on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a late exodus from Gauteng towards the Free State and in particular KwaZulu-Natal, and so a lot of people have left their travel till late and after midnight, there will be a prohibition on travel except in the circumstances stipulated in the guidelines,” said Roux.

Roux said the majority of commuters leaving Gauteng were headed for KwaZulu-Natal.

Meanwhile the N2 northbound, heading towards Richards Bay, was also heavily backed up.

On Wednesday, minister of transport Fikile Mbalula announced that cross-province travel would be prohibited from Friday with only those working for essential services being allowed to travel. South Africans will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food and other basic essentials.

As of March 26, the lives of many South Africans will be fundamentally changed. This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown. This step - which the president said was drastic but necessary - will see millions of South Africans restricted to their homes and many services being unavailable.Here's all you need to know about who is exempt from the lockdown and which businesses will stay open.


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