PRETORIA: Recently built bridges will importantly improve the community’s access to social amenities, including schools and clinics.
Minister Patricia de Lille of Public Works and Infrastructure together with the KwaZulu-Natal acting Transport MEC Kwazi Mshengu to unveil three bridges in Ekhamanzi, under the uMshwathi Local Municipality.
The unveiling is scheduled for Thursday, 11th of March 2021. DPWI Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet and other local leaders will join the unveiling event to take place in Ekhamanzi.
Recently built bridges will importantly improve the community’s access to social amenities, including schools and clinics.
According to the statement, the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme was gazetted as a Strategic Integrated Project in July 2020 as part of government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, approved by Cabinet in May 2020.
The aim of the programme was to provide safe access to social amenities and respond to potential disaster areas and emergency disaster situations during the rainy season. The intervention is done through the construction of modular steel bridges.
Welisizwe Programme was implemented by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and Defence and Military Veterans through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in South Africa.
Afterwards, the DPWI and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport entered into an MOA to implement the Welisizwe Programme within the province.
Furthermore, KwaZulu-Natal was identified as a key area for this intervention following severe thunderstorms, which put both human life and property in danger.
DPWI and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) undertook technical assessments in the identified potential disaster sites in KwaZulu-Natal, and the provincial transport department committed funds for the installation of 14 bridges in the province.
Two teams from the SANDF were deployed in 2020 with DPWI to assist in coordinating role to install the bridges in Ekhamanzi and other areas within the province. From April 2020, eight of the 14 bridges have been completed in the province.