New bridge to save villagers from crocodiles

“Facing crocodiles while crossing uThukela River will be a thing of the past for the communities of eMdlebeni and Mankenganeni in UMlalazi and KwaDukuza local municipalities following the start of the construction of the R78-million Nyakana uThukela Vehicle Bridge‚” said transport‚ community safety and liaison departmental spokesman Kwanele Ncalane.

For years the two communities braved the “deep crocodile infested river” to visit relatives or to get to KwaDukuza to shop and visit clinics.

“School children also had to face the dangers of swimming across the river every morning to cross from Mankenganeni to EMdlebeni to access schools.

“This had an impact on school enrolment and the pass rate of scholars in the area who often missed school on rainy days due to the high levels of the river which posed a great danger‚” Ncalane said.

A good Samaritan Amos Dludla‚ 65‚ used his boat over the years to help the pupils to cross safely every morning.

The construction of the 230m long bridge will be completed in two years.

“Over 275 school pupils at the iNyakana Combined School‚ iTshelabantu Combined School and Banguni High School in this area will benefit from the bridge.

“They will now look forward to coming to school knowing that access to reach their schools has been made easier‚” said transport‚ community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu at the sod turning ceremony on Tuesday.

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