THE newly-built bridge that links Mozambique in Maputo to KwaZulu-Natal in Kosi Bay has officially been opened, but not everyone was pleased by the announcement. The bridge was officially opened on Saturday by Mozambique’s President, Filipe Nyusi, in the hopes that it will promote tourism in the region. However, community members in the Upper Highway area asked if it was necessary for KZN to have a linking bridge from Maputo. They expressed concern that it would increase crime in the province and, additionally, wanted to know how the bridge was funded. A community member in Hillcrest who asked to remain anonymous said: “I’m sure they didn’t think this through because if they had they wouldn’t have built a bridge linking two provinces,” he said, remarking that the bridge would make it even easier for criminals to smuggle drugs into the province. “What kind of jobs will it create besides the truck drivers using their power to smuggle unneeded things in our province, also it will make it easy for them to conduct human trafficking too and getting here illegally,” he said. 3M Technical Manager of the Transport and Safety Division Vusi Tshabangu said he understands the frustrations of the people regarding the new bridge, however he stated that residents need to understand that the purpose of making roads is to make mobility easy for transportation of goods and people. “The decision to build a road is based on the economic need. There is an undertaking by SADEC countries to interconnect so that the trading between countries is easier. Then the building of this bridge was basically with economic intentions in mind,” he said. “Now other unforeseen consequences might happen, and those need to be attended to so that it doesn’t lose the initial focus of mobilising economic interaction,” concluded Tshabangu.