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Side tipper coal trucks banned from passing through Melmoth from Monday 30th

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As from Monday the 30th of January 2023, side tipper coal trucks will not be allowed to use the R66 road through Melmoth, Mthonjaneni local municipality mayor, Mbangiseni Biyela announced on Friday.

The mayor said from Monday only trucks carrying essential goods like foodstuff and timber would be allowed to pass through Melmoth.

The municipality said that has always been the case with their road until the sudden influx of coal trucks which use the R66 and then join the R34 to get to the Richards Bay coal terminal.

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The trucks resorted to using this route after being banned from using the N2 through Pongola following a horrific crash that killed 20 people.

On Thursday, the municipality announced that after a council meeting, all parties unanimously agreed that the ban should come into effect.

The municipality’s mayor, Mbangiseni Biyela, told SA Trucker on Friday that the community of Melmoth picketed last year and presented a petition calling for a total ban on coal trucks.

“This is final and we will start implementing it from Monday next week, by doing it, we are listening to the cries of our community which called for this late year.

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“The community presented a petition and demanded that we ban these trucks altogether as they are wreaking havoc on our roads.

“These coal trucks are causing accidents every now and then and block our roads, they have also destroyed the road,” Biyela told SA Trucker.

He also accused the trucks of blocking the R34 between Nkwalini and Empangeni, thus hindering ambulances from KwaMagwaza hospital in Melmoth from getting emergency patients to Ngwelezane hospital in Empangeni.

“You find these coal trucks even blocking ambulances rushing critical patients to Ngwelezana Hospital.

“Some of these patients end up dying before reaching Ngwelezana Hospital because these trucks have blocked the road.

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“That’s not all, people from areas like Yanguye sometimes cannot even go to Empangeni and Melmoth because of these trucks,” he added.

Biyela said they have no idea where these coal trucks will go, but they have had enough of them on their main road.

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