N3 Toll Route is expected to be busier than usual at the start of the winter school holiday

With the start of the school holiday on Friday, 14 June 2024 coinciding with the Youth Day long weekend, the N3 Toll Route is expected to carry higher than usual traffic volumes when freight operators, public transport vehicles, and leisure travellers simultaneously share the route.

In an attempt to ensure the safety, convenience, and mobility of all road users, N3TC’s toll plazas will be operating at maximum capacity on peak traffic days. Convenient payment options such as tags and tap & go card payment options are available to improve the throughput of vehicles and minimise congestion and possible delays at the plazas.

The N3TC Route Services teams are fully deployed on the route and will provide vital incident management services, assist during emergencies, and support road users in distress, while continuing to monitor N3 road-, traffic-, and weather conditions.

N3TC’s road incident management system (RIMS) partners are equally on high alert. Road users should expect strict law enforcement and road safety checkpoints where vehicle roadworthy checks, public transport compliance, random alcohol and drug screening tests, and pedestrian safety checks may be conducted.

Southbound traffic (towards Durban) is expected to gradually increase from midday on Friday, 14 June 2024, with busy conditions expected between 14:00 and 18:00.  These conditions may continue on Saturday morning until about noon. 

Northbound traffic (towards Gauteng) is likely to increase on Monday, 17 June 2024, but because it is also the winter school holiday (until  8 July 2024), traffic volumes are not expected to be extraordinarily high.

Road maintenance and construction

Routine road maintenance work will continue on the N3 Toll Route the current holiday period, however, the works are not expected to cause any major traffic disruptions. Traffic advisories will be issued in advance to warn road users should any major work be undertaken during this period.

Sudden changes in the weather

The N3 Toll Route traverses four provinces (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal) and weather conditions can rapidly change, especially in the mountainous areas along the route. Road users may encounter freezing temperatures, dense fog, snow, high winds and veld fires along parts of the N3 Toll Route over the next few months.

Cold fronts may bring icy weather, sleet and snow, especially in high-lying areas. Surface moisture can freeze into black ice, causing treacherous driving conditions. Van Reenen Pass, between Ladysmith and Harrismith, is especially prone to high winds and icy conditions. Mist and thick fog may be experienced at night and early mornings along the entirety of the N3 Toll Route.

N3TC advises road users to always be prepared for any eventuality. Pay attention to changing road and weather conditions, and heed warnings. Drivers are reminded to always adapt their driving style to the prevailing conditions. Keep extra blankets, warm clothes, emergency medication, sufficient water, food and refreshments, a torch, and mobile phone chargers in your vehicle.

N3TC encourages motorists to preferably travel during the day, wherever possible. Travelling at night presents many additional challenges, including reduced visibility, drowsiness, fatigue, a diminished ability to judge speed and distance, and higher incidences of criminal activity.

Report problems or emergencies; obtain real-time, verified N3 Toll Route information; or get swift roadside assistance by contacting the 24-hour N3 Helpline on 0800 63 43 57 or follow @N3Route on X.

N3TC wishes you a pleasant journey. Make road safety your top priority and please share the road responsibly.