24 Aug N4 Toll Route affected by protest action
The N4 Toll Route near eMalahleni has been severely affected by ongoing service delivery protests in the last few weeks. During the last couple of months, the hotspot for these protests remains between the Highveld Wakefield Kromdraai Intersection and the Mathews Phosa Intersection where unruly protestors have taken to the highway to express their anger by damaging public and private property.
Protestors have blockaded the N4 toll road, overturned trucks and pelted vehicles driving on our road with rocks. This modus operandi is used country wide by protestors and politicians and local authorities are not successful in attending to issues giving rise to the protest actions, or in deploying preventative actions.
Despite respecting the right to peaceful protests, as per the South African constitution, TRAC condemns the violent behaviour demonstrated by the protestors which has not only resulted in damages to property but has also put our staff and contractors’ staff at risk and has had adverse consequences on our road rehabilitation project in the area.
As the concessionaires of the N4 Toll Route, TRAC has no law enforcement authority on this national highway and relies on law enforcement agencies to take control in such situations. On receiving notification of such incidents (or the possibility thereof) we immediately alert the relevant authorities and also dispatch our TRACAssist and Accident Response teams to the scene in order to close off the affected area in a bid to keep road users safe.
Although TRAC has done everything possible in alerting the police about these violent protest actions, the interventions by the police are often reactive in nature as these illegal protests have now become more frequent and sporadic.
While this situation persists, and until the protestors and the entities they are dissatisfied with have resolved their difference, TRAC urges road users to avoid this area and opt to use the following alternative routes to reach their destinations:
* After Middelburg Plaza take the N12 at the N4/N12 split and take the Balmoral off ramp which leads to the N4 Balmoral Interchange.
* Take the Balmoral Interchange off ramp and turn right over the highway, from where you can join the N12 which joins the N4 just before the Middelburg Plaza.
We also urge law enforcement authorities to be on full alert during this time and apologise to our road users for any inconvenience caused and commit to continue putting their safety first in such situations.
Solange Soares Nicholson
Tel: +2713 755 3316 (switchboard)
Mobile: 0800 87 2264