The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, today (10 September 2022) launched multi–million Rand projects under uThukela District that will improve tourism and the district economy.
MEC Hlomuka led the contractor handing over for two major projects - R74 in Bergville and iNkunzi River Bridge in Ladysmith.
The two infrastructural projects will be reconstructed at a combined value of more than R27 million.
These two projects will improve the movement of people in the district and will help grow the economy by opening trade, tourism and movement of goods between provinces and local businesses.
R74 was damaged by floods, which resulted in the Armco pipe being washed away. This caused failures on the road which forced the road to be reduced to one lane. R74 in Bergville is strategic as it provides an alternative route to the N3, linking KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The road is also important for tourism development in the Drakensburg area and provides link to local schools and businesses. The road is also important in transporting agricultural produce.
INkunzi River Bridge links the community of eNkunzi to Main Road D2404, which links Ladysmith and Dundee. The bridge provides a link to many amenities such as schools. The bridge will provide safe crossing to community members.
MEC Hlomuka was accompanied by the local leadership of uKhahlamba Local Municipality, Alfred Duma, uThukela District and Inkosi Sithole who is the Deputy Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders in the province.
Commenting during the handing over of these two projects, MEC Hlomuka, committed the Department of Transport in fixing all halted infrastructural in the province.
“These two projects are important to the people of uThukela District in different ways. R74 is significant for the tourism and economic growth. Equally, iNkunzi vehicle bridge will provide safe crossing to the local community. The investment of more than R27 million will go a long way towards the creation of jobs, mainly to young people and women. Emerging contractors will also benefit from these two projects. As the Department we remain committed in prioritizing infrastructure delivery and we continue to roll-out strategic infrastructure projects as part of rebuilding the province after the devastating floods,” said Hlomuka.
The Department has also committed in assessing all bridges that are built using Armco pipes to improve them and avert more damages during heavy rains.