Mozam­bique un­veils R11 bil­lion bridge

Vuk'uzenzele - - Changing Lives - No­luthando Motswai

Peo­ple trav­el­ling be­tween Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Na­tal and Maputo in Mozam­bique will be re­lieved to know that they will only spend 90 min­utes on the road, thanks to the con­struc­tion of a new bridge.

Prior to the open­ing of the new bridge, com­muters spent six hours on the road when trav­el­ling be­tween Maputo and Kosi Bay.

KwaZulu-Na­tal Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and Tourism spokesper­son Bongani Tembe said the province was ex­cited to have this new con­nect­ing bridge that is ex­pected to in­crease trade and tourism re­la­tions be­tween South Africa and Mozam­bique.

“Prior to the con­struc­tion of this road, it was dif­fi­cult to travel be­tween KwaZulu-Na­tal and Maputo. The roads were not in good con­di­tion which forced com­muters to use 4x4 ve­hi­cles. It was dif­fi­cult to com­mute with a four wheel mo­tor ve­hi­cle,” said Tembe.

The R11 bil­lion bridge was of­fi­cially opended re­cently by Mozam­bi­can Pres­i­dent Filipe Nyusi.

The con­struc­tion of the twin-tower sus­pen­sion bridge be­gan in 2014; it was con­cep­tu­alised by the late Pres­i­dent Samora Machel who died in a plane crash in Mpumalanga in 1986.

The bridge stands 141 me­tres above Maputo Bay; is 680 me­tres long and joins the city cen­tre to the out­ly­ing dis­trict of Katembe.

About 95 per­cent of the bridge's cost was fi­nanced through loans pro­vided by Chi­nese lenders.

The build­ing project was man­aged by the China Road and Bridge Co­po­ra­tion and took four years to com­plete.

Tembe added that Mozam­bique, Swazi­land and South Africa have a long-stand­ing agree­ment on trade and tourism re­la­tions.

“It is without a doubt that small towns such as Richards Bay, Hluh­luwe and Man­guzi will ben­e­fit sig­nif­i­cantly from trade re­la­tions with the open­ing of the new bridge,” said Tembe.

Mozam­bique also forms part of the top five South African trade part­ners on the con­ti­nent.

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