Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille and Kwazulu-Natal Transport MEC Kwazi Mshengu have unveiled three recently completed bridges in Ekhamanzi, KwaZulu-Natal.
The bridges were built under the the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme, which is aimed at significantly improving communities' access to social amenities, including schools and clinics.
The programme was gazetted as a Strategic Integrated Project in July 2020. It is also one of the flagship projects of the departments of Public Works and Infrastructure and Defence.
De Lille noted that, in addition to the bridges built in Ekhamanzi, four bridges had also been completed in Mangwenya, while one bridge is nearing completion in Amanzimtoti and another, in Mthoqotho, is about 50% completed.
“Infrastructure is about improving the socioeconomic conditions in communities, as well as eliminating barriers for our people to get to where they need to get safely so that they can succeed and make a meaningful contribution to our country.” De Lille said.
The Minister added that infrastructure was about changing people’s lives for the better through the supply of water to drink, decent roads and a bridge to cross to get to school, to work or access government services like clinics.
“We know that for so many years, our children, mothers and fathers have had to cross dangerous river streams to access the basic and important social amenities such as schools, clinics, government. There is no justification and excuse for children still having to fight their way through water and risk their lives just to get to school,” she said.