Medicines, diapers, blood and fuel are priorities for KZN as N3 reopens

Highway between Cedara and Heidelberg reopens, but expect delays

16 July 2021 - 13:38 By ernest mabuza
The N3 between Cedara and Heidelberg was reopened on Friday morning.
The N3 between Cedara and Heidelberg was reopened on Friday morning.
Image: @TrafficSA/Twitter

The Road Freight Association (RFA) has welcomed the reopening of the N3 on Friday morning and said this would allow the industry to move the essential products that could not be transported since the highway was closed. 

“We are extremely appreciative that the N3 has been opened. It allows us to get the essentials, prioritised for now, moving into the distribution hubs that can then get to the badly affected areas, especially into KwaZulu-Natal,” RFA CEO Gavin Kelly said.

Dave Logan, CEO of the South African Association of Freight Fowarders (SAAFF), said the products which needed to be delivered urgently included pharmaceutical products, diapers, blood and fuel.

“We have been trying to supply as best we can under trying circumstances, but this will go a long way to getting our citizens food, medicines and other essentials,” Kelly said.

The SAAFF warned earlier this week that the continued closure of parts of the N2, N3 and N4 over recent days as a result of the unrest and destruction of trucks, their cargo, shopping malls and distribution centres, had severely impacted its supply chains.

The association said on Wednesday there was an urgent need to protect commercial ports as key national areas of interest, since they are the main arteries funnelling essential goods into SA.

The RFA said earlier this week that the looting meant that for freight travelling through South African ports, cargo owners would choose to move cargo through neighbouring countries.

“This has already been happening as South African ports become inefficient and the surrounding ports develop, improve and drive efficiencies up,” Kelly said this week.

He said SA's “Gateway to Africa” status was already being eroded and under threat over the past three years due to violence against the road freight sector.

“The status has been lost and these attacks will further cement the move of transit freight from South Africa to neighbouring countries.”

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