A new rest stop in Mkondeni, KwaZulu-Natal has been designed to help alleviate the pressure on local infrastructure and provide a space where truck drivers – men and women – can refuel and refresh as they continue their vital deliveries across the country.
The N3 highway remains one of South Africa’s largest truck-delivery lifelines, and while there are rest stops for truck drivers along the 579km route, there appeared to be a gap between Durban and the Pietermaritzburg area.
According to Ahmed Moola (a member of the AY Moola Family Trust that partnered with TotalEnergies to construct the stop) the lack of a proper refilling station in the Mkondeni area had led to a series of infrastructure problems, frustrating residents in the neighbouring areas for years.
“There’s an ongoing challenge. There’s no parking in the area. Trucks parking for extended periods in these areas are creating potholes, causing other damage to roads, blocking the streets and creating traffic backlogs,” said Moola.
But the new stop, located on the corner of Sats Street and Shortts Retreat Road and clearly visible from the Ashburton section of the N3, is set to provide a safe and convenient space where large vehicles can park and refuel and where truck drivers can buy food– away from the residential streets.
With space for up to 30 vehicles and up to 22-meters in size to park comfortably, the new stop will have a 24-hour store for easy access to food and beverages, a lounge area so truckers do not have to eat in their vehicles, and a shower and change room facility for drivers to refresh after a long journey.
“We have four male shower areas and a separate shower area for women, because we know that there are more and more female drivers, and we want to give them a dedicated facility so they can feel secure,” said Moola.
Moola said the stop will continue to expand, with a series of other services set for development through 2021. Firstly, the stop is currently setting up a truck washing service within the next few months. Second, he said the stop’s administration was also in talks with the Department of Transport and Department of Health to introduce a mobile clinic, where drivers could have tests on their blood pressure, blood sugar and even their HIV status.