PLANS for two major bridges and a main road upgrade to link Weenen and Tugela Ferry were announced by KZN MEC for Transport, Mxolisius Kaunda, last Tuesday. Cost of this boost for the area is R905 million.
The new infrastructures will enable Msinga communities to easily reach important amenities such as clinics, schools, public transport facilities and shopping facilities once completed. A state-of-the-art double-carriage weigh bridge (R97 million) will replace the one-at-a-time steel bridge which is now a heritage site. The old bridge will become a pedestrian crossing.
Traffic will also improve because of upgrades to tar of the intersecting main roads P6 and P280, connecting uMsinga to Greytown, Dundee, Ladysmith and Pietermaritzburg as well as the national N3 route.
Kaunda, accompanied by uMzinyathi District mayor, Cllr Linda Ngubane, launched the construction of eMahlaba Bridge, which will cost an estimated R13 million. This bridge was requested by the community in 2012 when eight members of a community crime-fighting organisation (IsiKebhe) were ambushed while searching for their stolen livestock.
In all the three projects, more than 1 019 job opportunities will be created for the locals, mainly woman and the youth.
Addressing the people of Greater uMsinga, Kaunda said: “The investment of R905 million in three projects will improve the economy of this district, which will also receive an additional R311 million in the 2016/17 financial year. The construction of Tugela Bridge will open up access and economic trade between uMzinyathi District and other strategic key points in the province. Young people and women will benefit in skills training and job opportunities through these infrastructure projects.”