Bridge brings re­lief for KZN learn­ers

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - Nom­fundo Mce­tywa

GOVERN­MENT is en­sur­ing that chil­dren don’t have to cross dan­ger­ous rivers to get to school.

Fac­ing croc­o­diles and pos­si­bly drown­ing while cross­ing UThukela River to get to school is no longer a re­al­ity for learn­ers in KwaDukuza and KwaMa­phu­mulo.

This af­ter the KwaZulu-Na­tal Depart­ment of Trans­port built two bridges which cross the UThukela River.

The Nyakana UThukela River Bridge, which cost R89.5 mil­lion to build serves the Manken­ga­neni com­mu­nity which is lo­cated on the north­ern side of the river.

The bridge links the Um­lalazi and KwaDukuza lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties

which ben­e­fits learn­ers from Nyakana Com­bined School, Ban­guni High School and Tshe­la­bantu Com­bined School.

The prin­ci­pal of Nyakana Com­bined School Zakhe Mathonsi said punc­tu­al­ity has im­proved since the con­struc­tion of the bridge.

“Dur­ing heavy rains the river would over­flow and par­ents wouldn’t al­low their chil­dren to risk their lives at­tempt­ing to cross it. If it started to rain some par­ents would ask their kids sent home early as they feared that they wouldn’t be able to get home safely,” said Mathonsi.

When the river was flooded Mathonsi had to con­tact the South African Po­lice Service to trans­port learn­ers to school or back home, which is a round trip of about 55km.

“If the river flooded I knew that I wouldn’t see some stu­dents for two to three weeks, un­til it sub­sided.”

Mathonsi said some learn­ers ended up drop­ping out of school be­cause they would miss valu­able lessons.

“Since I started work­ing at the school in 1994 we have buried 13 learn­ers who drowned in the river.”

Din­gakele Seme (16), a Grade Nine learner at Nyakana Com­bined School in KwaDukuza said she now gets to school on time and her performance has im­proved as a re­sult. We dont miss any classes we are thank­ful to the Depart­ment of Trans­port,” she con­firmed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.