Tuesday, 05 October 2021 17:53

Mbalula unveils four bridges in the North West.

Staff Reporter.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has unveiled four bridges connecting the North West province with the Free State across the Vaal River.

Addressing the launch of October Transport Month on Tuesday in Vermaasdrift, North West, the Minister said the first bridge is located on Road SD860, with a span of 180 meters and is located approximately 20km southwest of Klerksdorp.

"The second bridge is located on Road D836, with a span of 180 meters and is situated southeast of Orkney. The third bridge is located on Road D642 also with a span of 180 meters and is situated southeast of Stilfontein.

"The fourth bridge is where Road P89/2 crosses the Vaal River approximately 34km southeast of Potchefstroom and has a span of 246 meters," Mbalula said.

The bridges will enable the farming communities to transport their various produce from the farms to the local markets.

The four bridges forms part of the labour Intensive S’hamba Sonke programme, aimed at addressing the maintenance backlog in the secondary network and contribute to sustainable livelihoods through job creation initiatives.

The Minister said the initiative allows that national and provincial spheres of government work towards common road maintenance targets while augmenting funding through the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant.

"The conceptualisation of the S’Hamba Sonke Programme was premised on the reality that while South Africa’s national road network is in good to very good condition, this is not the case with our secondary road networks, or provincial roads.

"Over the medium term, the maintenance of provincial roads, largely funded through the provincial roads maintenance grant, is set to receive R37.5 billion over the MTEF period," Mbalula said.

The Department of Transport will use the Transport Month campaign to showcase flagship projects intended to create more jobs in South Africa.

The S’hamba Sonke programme is one of the projects that will accelerate efforts to meet the government’s target of creating 11 million job opportunities by the year 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).