Snowfall closes N3 at Van Reenen's pass

The N3 highway at Van Reenen’s Pass between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal has been closed due to heavy snowfalls, the N3 Toll Concession said on Monday.

“The N3 has been closed from Harrismith to the Bergville interchange,” said spokesperson Andy Visser.

She said motorists were being diverted to the N11 at Ladysmith.

“Icy rain began falling in the early hours of the morning and later turned to snow.”

Visser said emergency services were helping vehicles that were trapped in the snow near Harrismith.

Waiting for clarity
Forecaster at the South African Weather Service Jan Vermeulen said the snow was not unusual and the conditions that gave rise to it had been predicted.

“It is possible that there may be further snowfalls in these areas, but it is likely to start clearing today,” he said.

Heavy snowfall in the area caused the closure of the same highway for about two days in July.

Trucks had blocked the highway and were needed to be cleared before the road could be reopened.

Parts of Lesotho, the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg area, the southern Free State, the Mpumalanga highveld and the Eastern Cape highground had also seen heavy snowfall at the end of July.—Sapa