Rural Development delivers on government’s infrastructure promise
23 Apr 2012In line with the commitment made by the president during the State of the Nation Address, Department of Rural Development and Land reform has made significant progress in the construction of the 140 metre Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge over the river of Mbashe in the Eastern Cape. Villages that will receive direct spin-offs from this infrastructure project are Mvezo and Dondolo. Both villages form part of the department’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme sites. A number of villagers will be employed in this R123 million infrastructure project.
The Mvezo bridge project involves the building of a new ten kilometre tar road that will link Mvezo with the N2. This linkage is expected to make travelling comfortable and reduce the distance to East London, Mthatha and Idutywa by at least 50km. Currently, whenever people of Mvezo have to travel to Idutywa they have to go via Qunu Village. This is an 86 kilometre journey and the bridge when completed will shorten the trip. Mvezo is envisaged as a tourist attraction in the near future and the construction of the road will fast track economic development in the areas as transportation of goods to-and-from these areas will be with ease.
Mvezo is a small village on the banks of the Mbashe River in Mthatha. It is closer to Idutywa town. It is a relatively poor village largely depending on subsistence farming. Donkeys are commonly used there in a number of activities including ferrying water from the Mbashe River.
In executing this multi-million rand infrastructure project, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is working with various government departments including Public Works, Roads and Transport as well as Water Affairs. During the environmental Impact assessment, the following specialists conducted an environmental assessment in the area:
These assessments were done in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act which dictates that such studies be conducted before the construction of roads.
- Ecological Specialist looked at important animals and vegetative species. It was important to make sure that animal and vegetative species, particularly those that are in danger of extinction, are not removed.
- Aquatic Specialist observed the quality of the water in Mbhashe River.
- Heritage expert assessed the potential impact on heritage value and attributes of cultural or historical significance in close proximity to the study area.
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Issued by: Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
23 Apr 2012
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