The N3 highway near the Market Road off-ramp in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal was closed in both directions on Thursday morning due to thick smoke that came from a burning dumpsite in the area.
Vehicles were backed up, causing heavy congestion – not only on the highway but on other roads in the area.
KwaZulu-Natal emergency services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said that the fire at the dumpsite had started on Monday night, but by Thursday, it had caused so much smoke that visibility on the roads had been severely impaired.
Thick smoke from a burning dumpsite in Pietermartizburg caused heavy traffic delays on Thursday.
“The Road Traffic Inspectorate closed the highway on Thursday morning,” McKenzie said.
“The normal town roads in the area are also affected, with many people stuck in traffic.”
KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Superintendent Zinhle Mngomezulu said that traffic was being diverted from the area, while trucks heading toward Durban would be held back until the smoke subsides.
Mngomezulu said while the fire was seemingly under control, smoke caused problems for the past three days.
“The stench is also quite bad,” Mngomezulu added.