Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Sihle Zikalala, will visit Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Friday to give progress on and unveil the massive construction of rural bridges.
These bridges are being constructed in six provinces, and are aimed at connecting communities and guaranteeing their safety.
“Minister Zikalala is adamant that no child should miss schools in rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and North West because the rivers swell when it rains.
“This will be one of the massive rural infrastructure investments made by a government in post-apartheid South Africa,” the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) explained.
The department announced that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will provide significant technical support and therefore the work is expected to be executed swiftly.
“Some of these rural community bridges were destroyed during the flood disasters and their absence has disconnected communities and made their lives difficult.”
The construction work phase will see 134 rural bridges constructed in the country in the coming months.
“This will significantly upscale the rural infrastructure development in poorly serviced areas with public amenities," the DPWI said.
Zikalala is also expected to unpack employment opportunities and the lasting legacy for the communities.
“The escalation in the building of the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme is one of the Minister’s top priorities in the building programme, together with unblocking projects that have stalled for various reasons.”
The programme, the department explained, is being undertaken together with the Department of Defence and provincial Departments of Transport. – SAnews.gov.za