Musina secures R3.5m for bridge after 20 year nightmare

 Learners cross the wooden bridge.


19-04-2024
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Polokwane Review Observer
Source

Musina Mayor Nkhanedzeni Mawela said due to the urgency of the project, everything, including construction, should be completed in four months.



LIMPOPO – For the past 20 years, heavy downpours resulted in a nightmare for the people around Hamutele and surrounds, especially learners and teachers of the local Fhetani High School.



At times, villagers could not access villages outside of their own, due to streams overflowing.



The stories around this area have been covered on various national media platforms, of learners not being able to cross the streams during the rainy season. In one incident, some learners had missed final examinations as they could not find a way to get to school, while others risked their lives crossing through the water at chest height.



Thankfully, the Musina Municipality recently secured R3.5m from the Municipal Disaster Response Grant to address the problem.



Following the appointment of engineers to draw up the design of the project, a session to introduce the engineers was held at the Mutele Tribal Office last Friday. The session was attended by representatives of the tribal council, local community structures, a delegation from the Musina Municipality and the engineers from the Diges Group.



Musina Mayor Nkhanedzeni Mawela informed guests that the municipality has a service level agreement to work on the site as the road belongs to the Department of Public Works.



“As government, we have realised that any project that starts without the involvement of the community is likely to have conflicts. It is for this reason that even before the contractor is appointed, we are involving the community in everything. So we are here today to introduce these engineers to you, the community, so that you can assist them with any information in order for them to come up with something that will be relevant to your needs.”



Mawela said due to the urgency of the project, everything, including construction, should be completed in four months.



“People in this area have been complaining about this for years, and we are happy that the lives of these people will change for the better. We have to move with speed to make sure that this project is completed before the heavy rain season. We are also aware that the grant we received for this project is not much, but we need to do everything possible with the little budget without compromising the quality of work.”



An engineer from the Diges Group, Moses Makuruvi said they would look into two options when drawing up the project designs.



“Depending on the available resources, we will look at possible design and reconstruction of low level river crossing draining structures along the dependent stream, or refurbishing the damaged and abandoned old Mutale river bridge that leads to Fhetani High School. We can also look at working on both sites if the resources allow, but we need time to work on the designs as fast as possible to allow the contractors enough time to finish the work.”

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