ANC Limpopo: Municipality promises new bridge following collapse
The municipality apologised for the incident, saying the damage was caused by a mistake.
An ANC flag waved outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg during a march on 15 July 2022. Picture: Michel Bega
The ANC-led Elias Motsoaledi local municipality in Limpopo will rebuild a low-level bridge which was damaged during a revamp.
The bridge was damaged last Sunday, when municipal workers were regravelling the road leading to ward 21, between Mountain View and Jerusalem villages.
The municipality told The Citizen yesterday, the operator of the tractor loader backhoe destroyed some of the weight-carrying pillars and bricks, resulting in parts of the bridge collapsing.
The municipality said it had the budget to fix the bridge. Members of the community, who use the bridge to access other villages and the primary school, allegedly ran amok and refused to allow the municipal workers assigned to rebuild the bridge entry to the site.
Order must be restored
The community accused the municipality of having damaged the bridge on purpose. On Monday, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor Mpho Maphopha and the party’s provincial leadership demanded that the municipality rebuild it as soon as possible, or face a revolt.
“Because we are a caring revolutionary movement, we offered to build this bridge to help our children so they can go to school even during rainy season,” said EFF Limpopo provincial chair Tshilidzi Maraga yesterday.
Maraga said the party had built the bridge after the municipality had turned a deaf ear to constant pleas by the community to provide them with access to other villages.
“Despite having done a good job, the EFF noted with utmost concern the unwarranted action by the ruling party to destroy a noble cause that was meant to help the community and the children with easy access.
“We demand that the ruling party, which in this case is the Elias Motsoaledi local municipality, immediately release funds to build a new bridge” said Maraga.
The municipality apologised for the incident, saying the damage was caused by a mistake. “We have already dispatched a team of experts to the area to correct our mistake,” said municipal spokesperson Simon Makua yesterday.
“We planned to build a new low-lying bridge on site, while we are busy with the construction of a multiyear, R65-million tar road project in the area to help the situation.”
The road project, according to Makua, stretches from Kgaphamadi to Jerusalem village. The 8.8 kilometre-long road will benefit about five villages in the area.
“All we are asking is for the community and the EFF to welcome our officials in peace as they embark on a journey to rebuild the bridge,” said Makua.