KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala has launched a multi-million rand road infrastructure project at Ndwedwe – north of Durban. It’s part of government’s COVID-19 economic recovery strategy.
Once complete, the new road is expected to link areas like Wartburg and KwaMaphumulo to economic hubs in Tongaat and Ndwedwe.
The new road is expected to be 37 kilometers long once complete. It will shorten the distance between outlying communities to the nearby towns of Tongaat and Verulam, where many locals travel for work and school.
Premier Sihle Zikalala says the second phase of the project is expected to create more than 500 new jobs.
“The road that connects Tongaat to Wartburg, it also provides services to lots of schools and clinics that are in-between. It will also ensure it supports farmers who are there especially those who live on subsistence farming to be able to connect with Tongaat easy, to connect with the airport easily. It is more than R700 million investment.”
Resident Johnson Khumalo lives in nearby Wartburg with his family. He says he is pleased that their calls for easier access to nearby towns are finally being heard.
“I’m very glad about that road. Lots of people suffer with travelling. When it’s raining they can’t get transport, I’m so happy.”
Meanwhile, Zikalala and MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli, also visited a multi-disciplinary roadblock in Ndwedwe.
Earlier this week, similar activities saw several drivers being arrested at Port Shepstone on the south coast.
Zikalala elaborates on some of the arrests, “From the 1st of November till now we have had 12 accidents with 16 fatalities and that’s a serious number. About 12 drivers have been charged from this morning, driving without licenses, driving cars that are not roadworthy. And all of that we are going to enforce not only here in Verulam and Ndwedwe but throughout KZN.”
Apart from making sure that drivers and motor vehicle licenses are valid and that vehicles are roadworthy, drivers will now also have to ensure adherence to COVID-19 regulations in their cars and in public transport.
13 killed in KZN accident in October
In October, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport said they are investigating the cause of a collision between a minibus and a truck on the R66 between Ulundi and Melmoth in the northern part of the province.
Thirteen people were killed and four others critically injured in the collision.
It is the second major crash in the province that happened in October.
Two weeks prior to this accident, 13 people from the same family were killed in a minibus taxi crash between Underberg and Bulwer near the southern Drakensberg.
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)