On Friday 2 October at approximately 08:30, motorists were warned that a slippery road, the N2-Pongola road, had been closed at the Assegaai Bridge and they were advised to use the R33-Moolman road to get to Pongola instead.
This warning was issued after the driver of a Volvo truck lost control due to the wet weather and jackknifed. The Mkhondo Fire and Rescue Unit’s personnel were sent out to the accident and it took them until approximately 18:00 to open the road again. One person sustained minor injuries.
The truck was removed quickly but due to the road being so slippery it was too dangerous to open. The Mkhondo Fire and Rescue Unit asked for assistance from a team from Richards Bay, who had the resources to wash the road with chemicals and remove all the rubble, making it less slippery and safe to drive on again.
Unfortunately, this was only a very expensive and temporary solution to a big problem. That specific stretch of road has seen many harmful chemical spills over the past few years and these spills have caused the road to produce a coat of oil when it rains. Apparently the surface of the road becomes so slippery that a person even has trouble walking on it.
A permanent solution would be for SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency) to redo the piece of road completely and hopefully they do so soon, before more people are injured or even die.
Motorists are advised to be extra careful when driving in the wet weather conditions. Reduce your speed, avoid hard braking and sharp turns and leave at least a few extra seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. ALWAYS wear your seatbelt!
Thank you to the Mkhondo Fire and Rescue Unit and the team of Richards Bay for responding to the accident scene quickly and for doing everything in their power to make the road accessible again.