AFTER years of complaints over an inaccessible road, Ehlanzeni municipality in Mpumalanga has finally handed over a footbridge to the Makgwabaratsane community.

The village is part of the Newskom township near Nelspruit.

The community had maintained that they needed a bridge because the footpath was often flooded after heavy rains, became too muddy and was the haunt of criminals at night.

After the plea the municipality sprang into action and built the bridge.

The bridge was handed over by Ehlanzeni municipality executive mayor, Constance Mkhonto to the obvious delight of the community.

Soon after it was opened, walkers, runners and cyclists started using it - as if it had always been there.

"This bridge was long overdue. Thieves used to hide here because this area is so dense," said a resident, Maria Mathebula.

"We are glad our prayers have been answered," she said.

"The footpath was unusable after rain. This bridge will go a long way to helping schoolchildren because they suffered a lot," Nothando Mokoena said.

"We have also been robbed of valuables because this part of the village is in a secluded area," she said.

Mkhonto urged the community to take good care of the bridge because it belonged to them.

The municipality did not say how much it had cost to build the bridge.