National Route 2

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National Route N2 in South Africa
National Route 2
Course of the N2
Basic data
Operator: South African National Roads Agency
Start of the street: Cape Town
( 33 ° 55 ′  S , 18 ° 25 ′  E )
End of street: Ermelo
( 26 ° 32 ′  S , 29 ° 59 ′  E )
Overall length: 2269 km

Provinces :

Cape Town N2.jpg
N2 near Cape Town
Course of the road
Western Cape Province
Locality Cape Town
node (0.9)  N1
node (6.2)  SA road M3.svg
node (7.8)  SA road M5.svg
node (23.8)  R300
passport (59.1)  Sir Lowry's Pass
passport (84.6)  Houwhoek Pass
bridge (354)  Gourits River Bridge (270 m)
Locality Mossel Bay
node (437)  N9N12
passport (438)  Kaaiman's Pass
Toll booth (552)  Tsitsikama Toll Plaza toll booth
bridge (555)  Bloukrans Bridge (451 m)
Eastern Cape Province
bridge (584)  Paul Sauer Bridge (192 m)
Locality Port Elizabeth
node (797)  N10
Locality East London
node (1049)  N6
KwaZulu-Natal Province
node (1574)  R67
Toll booth (1574)  Oribi Toll Gate toll booth
Locality Durban
node (1693)  N3
Locality Richards Bay
Mpumalanga Province
Locality Ermelo
crossing (2269)  N11
Further on N11
The Gourits River bridges
Bloukrans Bridge

The National Route 2 (short- N2 ) is one of the main roads in South Africa . It is the most important road in South Africa along the coast of the Indian Ocean . The N2 begins in Cape Town ( Western Cape ) and runs through Port Elizabeth and East London in the Eastern Cape and Durban ( KwaZulu-Natal ) to Ermelo in Mpumalanga .


Important cities along the N2 are Cape Town, Somerset West , Caledon , Swellendam , Mossel Bay , George , Knysna , Humansdorp , Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown , King William's Town , Bhisho , East London, Mthatha , Kokstad , Port Shepstone , Durban, KwaDukuza , Empangeni , Piet Retief and Ermelo.

Western cape

Sir Lowry's Pass

The N2 begins in the center of Cape Town at the north end of Buitengracht Street at the entrance to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront . The first section of the N2 runs together with the beginning of the N1 . It is a four lane highway that runs from the city center to the port of Cape Town . At the eastern edge of the city center, the two streets share and the N2 leads south as Eastern Boulevard over the freight and marshalling yards and the access tracks of the Cape Town train station.

Only in Woodstock do you drive back on the ground and immediately afterwards you reach the large motorway junction, which is known as Hospital Bend because of its proximity to the Groote Schuur Hospital . At this intersection, the N2 and M3 were merged and form a ten-lane motorway before they branch off from each other again. Since the Hospital Bend is built along a sloping arch and you often have to change lanes when passing through the motorway junction, traffic jams and accidents are frequent.

After Hospital Bend , the N2 turns east and runs as a six-lane highway over the Cape Plain to Somerset West. This section is called Settler's Way (German: "Weg der Siedler"). The motorways M5 , M7 and R300 intersect along this route . It also runs along the main airport runway in Cape Town. In Somerset West, the N2 becomes a dual carriageway with no median and has to pass several intersections with traffic lights, which often cause traffic jams.

East of Somerset West, the N2 rises and crosses Sir Lowry's Pass . It leads to the Overberg region . On the plateau of the Hottentots-Holland mountains , it leads through Grabouw and over the Houwhoek pass back down to Botrivier . The N2 then crosses the agricultural plain around the towns of Caledon, Riviersonderend , Swellendam and Riversdale . Starting in Swellendam up to the vicinity of Knysna, it is accompanied more and less closely by the successive railway lines Worcester – Voorbaai , George – Mossel Bay and George – Knysna .

The N2 crosses the Gouritz River between Albertinia and Mossel Bay . The Gourits River Bridge is 270 meters long and 75 meters high. She was born on November 10, 1977 by Dr. LAPA Munnik, the administrator of the Cape Province , opened. The bridge was designed by MESSRS Liebenberg & Stander Consulting Engineers Capetown (afrikaans: MNRE Liebenberg & Stander Raadgewende Ingenieurs Kaapstad ). It replaced the old Gourits River Bridge from 1892, which could be used for bungee jumping for many years . There is a railway bridge north of the two bridges. At Mossel Bay, the N2 approaches the coast again, where the Garden Route begins.

In the west of Mossel Bay the N2 becomes a motorway again and remains so until the confluence of the N9 just outside the city of George. From here it crosses Kaaiman's Pass via Wilderness and Knysna to Plettenberg Bay . The following stretch of road ( Tsitsikamma Toll Route , named after the Tsitsikamma Mountains ) is chargeable, primarily because of the use of the Bloukrans Bridge . Alternatively, the road through Nature's Valley, a resort, can be used. The Bloukrans Bridge is located on the border with the Eastern Cape Province .

Eastern Cape

In the Eastern Cape it leads over the oldest of the three large arched bridges of the N2, the Paul Sauer Bridge over the gorge of the Storms River, then the N2 leads past Humansdorp and Jeffreys Bay and over the second of the three arched bridges, the Van Stadens Bridge . It is then expanded as a four-lane highway that runs through Port Elizabeth and only stops again in Coega. The N2 then turns northeast towards Grahamstown and thus away from the coast. On this section of the route the N10 branches off and leads towards Middelburg . The N2 then crosses the former Ciskei . At King William's Town the N2 turns back to the coast and meets it at East London. East London is bypassed using a bypass. The N2 then meets the N6 in the east of the urban area , which runs north from East London towards Bloemfontein .

After East London, the N2 leads back inland to avoid the difficult terrain of the Wild Coast region . The area of ​​the former homeland Transkei with the city of Butterworth and the then capital Umtata, today Mthatha , is crossed. The N2 crosses the border to the neighboring province of KwaZulu-Natal near Kokstad .


After Kokstad, the N2 turns back towards the coast, which it meets at Port Shepstone. After Port Shepstone, the N2 is again expanded as a motorway and runs along the holiday resorts of the south coast of Natal - such as Umzumbe , Hibberdene , Ifafa Beach , Scottburgh , Umkomaas and Amanzimtoti  - before it goes around Durban on another bypass. At the Westville bypass, which runs on four levels, the N2 meets the N3 from Johannesburg .

The N2 remains a motorway north of Durban as well. It runs along the north coast of Natal past the rocks of Umhlanga, Ballito and Tongaat . At KwaDukuza the expansion ends as a motorway. The road leads past the port of Richards Bay and then turns north away from the coast and leads directly into the heart of the Zululand past the ISimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve . Near the border station at eGolela , the N2 reaches the Eswatini border , but then runs west along the southern border of Eswatini through Pongola and then crosses the border to Mpumalanga province .


In Mpumalanga, too, the N2 remains close to the border to the town of Piet Retief. From there it continues in a north-westerly direction and ends in Ermelo. Ermelo is connected to Johannesburg and Mbabane via the N17 and to Mokopane and Ladysmith via the N11 .

Traffic disruptions

Due to heavy rainfall, a mudslide blocked a section of the N2 road at Kaaiman's Pass between George and Wilderness. As a result, the road had to be temporarily closed on August 26, 2006. Due to the avalanche, part of the road became fragile and large crevices formed in the road surface. On August 29, a lane for vehicles under five tons was reopened after a team of engineers examined the damage.

A detour has been set up along Saasveld Strasse, but there is only single-lane traffic for light vehicles on the road. Heavy vehicles must use an alternative route that leads over the R62 and the Langkloof Pass. This extends the route from George to Wilderness from eleven kilometers to over 600. The road has since been reopened to traffic, but major repairs still need to be made.

The traffic was disrupted several times by protests. On September 10, 2007, residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement blocked the N2 near Langa . The police then used rubber bullets and injured over 30 residents.

On December 4, 2008, several thousand residents of eMachambini between KwaDukuza and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal blocked the N2 to protest against the planned AmaZulu Word Themepark . Police opened fire, injuring 23 residents and arresting ten of them.


The Sanral Roads Authority is planning to build the toll road N2 Wild Coast Toll Road , which will run along the Wild Coast from Mthatha and meet the previous N2 further north. The construction should include a 223 meter high and 1132 meter long bridge over the Mtentu . The planned road construction led to extensive protests among the local population, so that the Austrian company Strabag withdrew from the project. Among other things, it is believed that the road will be used to develop a controversial titanium mine.

Individual evidence

  1. - Road crisis 'not over yet' ( English ) Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved March 19, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Cape Town: Police wade in on Joe Slovo shackdwellers blockade ( English ) labor. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  3. ^ N2 Gateway and the Joe Slovo informal settlement: the new Crossroads? ( English ) Abahlali. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  4. Niren tolsi: Cops break up protest over KZN development ( English ) Mail & Guardian. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  5. Konstanze Walther: STRABAG prestigious project in front of the corner. from December 7, 2018, accessed on February 5, 2019
  6. Konstanze Walther: Strabag stops South Africa project. of February 3, 2019, accessed on February 5, 2019

Web links