I was on my way to visit my grandma and family for Christmas. To get to my grandma’s place, I have to use the N2 Route from East London, pass through the small towns such as Butterworth, Dutywa and Mthatha. I knew since it was Christmas eve, accidents are bound to happen, but this one was really unexpected and it ended up being a lose-win situation (I will explain this in this post).

I was kind of glad the Mthatha traffic was not as insane as it usually is (this is due to Madeira Street being made a 1 way road), we passed the town with ease. Shortly after passing the town (I would estimate about 10km after town), there was a huge pile up in traffic. Normally when there is a huge pile up in traffic, you would expect it being some horrific accident or the police have set up a road block to iron out all the drunk drivers. This was not the case for this incident!

Huge Traffic Jam about 10km out of Mthatha on the N2
Huge Traffic Jam about 10km out of Mthatha on the N2

I started noticing the locals around the area all had at least 1 case of beer. I was not sure why this was the case….did they genuinely buy booze? Was there some give away? The question was floating in my head. As I got closer and closer to the disaster zone, I started seeing some fragments of shattered beer bottles….not just a few, but a lot of them! Then it made sense to me that there must have been an alcohol truck that capsized or collided with something. The moment I saw how messy the road was, I rolled down my window and took a picture and a video (which I cannot upload due to “legal” issues):

Beer bottles smashed on the N2 outside Mthatha...traffic was extremely slow
Beer bottles smashed on the N2 outside Mthatha…traffic was extremely slow

 

Just another image of the beer bottles shattered on the N2 Mthatha
Just another image of the beer bottles shattered on the N2 Mthatha

What was weird about this accident is that the nearby locals didn’t waste this opportunity – they helped themselves to the beer bottles that have not been cracked or spilled on the road. I saw one granny who had 6 cases of beer for herself….6 cases. She must have called a friend to come and help her collect her “Christmas”. You could hear locals shouting to each other “Today, is going to be like a township” or “This is what I call Christmas”. At the end of all this, the company probably lost a bit of money, while the nearby locals, gained a lot of free booze 😀

I must mention that there were quite a number of brave people who hopped out of their cars, picked up and empty case (one was using a towel) to clear the lane which they are supposed to use. These guys did a stunning job, traffic flow got a lot better and I am sure other drivers were happy a temporary solution was created.

I must appologize for the crappy image below….my phone was on video recording mode and it doesn’t do HD video’s 🙁

The Few people who decided to clear the path...Kudos to them!!
The Few people who decided to clear the path…Kudos to them!!

I hope that everyone was safe and no one died on the scene. I am happy for the locals; despite the situation here being real bad, they got to benefit from it. I hope they enjoyed their Christmas responsibly….. 🙂

Another view of the disaster zone on the N2 Mthatha
Another view of the disaster zone on the N2 Mthatha