2010 road opened

MPUMALANGA MEC for public works, roads and transport Clifford Mkansi has officially opened one of the 2010 World Cup roads in Nelspruit.

This is one of the roads aimed at easing traffic congestion around the Mbombela Stadium.

Accompanied by department head Kgopano Mohlasedi and several senior managers from the department yesterday, Mkansi said the function was to officially open the road for use by the public.

The road, known as the P166, is situated along the R37 road to Lydenburg and is one of the roads near the newly built stadium.

"We are opening the first phase of the project in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup'" Mkansi said.

"Come rain, come sunshine, we are ready for the World Cup".

He said the construction of the road started on October 22 2008 and had to be completed by February 20 this year but the deadline was pushed forward to March 2 due to the recent heavy rains in the province.

The newly built road caters for four lanes and is 2,5km long.

The total costs for its construction is estimated at R163million.

"During the construction phase a large number of local people benefited through employment. The project employed a total of 279 people including 78 women, 64 youth and 137 men," Mkansi said.

The road was constructed by No 17 MCC-Readira joint venture in collaboration with Madisha and associates, the project engineers led by Joe Madisha.

"We are happy to have completed the project on target and according to budget.

"It was very complex in that it was not only about engineering but also included the acquisition of the land from its owners," Madisha said.

"The negotiations with the land owners were sometimes very frustrating."

One of the directors of No 17 MCC-Readira joint venture, Solly Ndlovu, said his pride was on the fact that people benefited from jobs during the construction.

After cutting the ribbon to officially open the road Mkansi handed champagne to a number of motorists as part of the celebrations but warned them not to drink and drive.