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Collapsing Welcome Zenzile Bridge in Kuyasa to start repairs soon

The newly designed system would be able to withstand the overflows. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)

The newly designed system would be able to withstand the overflows. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 10, 2022

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Cape Town - Repairs to the Welcome Zenzile Bridge in Kuyasa, Khayelitsha, are expected to commence soon with the completion date set for the end of June.

This was announced yesterday by urban mobility mayco member Rob Quintas who formally handed over the site to the construction company.

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The road, which is a bridge between sections 59 and 60 in Kuyasa, was handed over to the community in December last year. However, in February the community was left shocked after the sides of the bridge disintegrated and demanded answers from the City about what they termed “shoddy work” done to the bridge.

Initially, the construction of the bridge faced challenges and delays due to disruptions which included violence and hostility from some residents, vandalism of contractor machinery, harassment, intimidation, and assault on the contract workers. The initial contractor terminated its contract with the City and a new contract had to be awarded.

Quintas said a sewage spill overtopped the kerb and footway blockages causing the side slopes of the road to erode. He said the newly designed system would be able to withstand the overflows.

Quintas said the repairs would cost the City around R590 000.

Quintas rubbished the community’s claims that there was shoddy workmanship done during the construction.

"We had two reports conducted by the City and independently and there was no shoddy workmanship done in terms of the structure of the road. However, the concern with these instances is that we find a lot of informality where people dump and throw water,” Quintas said.

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The bridge which was handed over to the community in December suffered massive delays and vandalism with the residents accusing the City of shoddy work after the bridge disintegrated months after construction. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
The bridge which was handed over to the community in December suffered massive delays and vandalism with the residents accusing the City of shoddy work after the bridge disintegrated months after construction. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

He said with the eradication of illegal dumping and blockages, most of the problems seen on the roads, particularly in areas like Khayelitsha would be eliminated.

Community leader and former ward councillor Bongani Ngcani commended the residents for exposing what he said was inadequate work done by the contractor.

“While we welcome the new developments, we are also mindful of the fact when such projects are carried out in our areas they are not done with utmost care.

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“The City and the contractors should have known that such damage would occur to the road if they were going to construct a bridging road through a water canal without opening a raised bridge. We are looking forward to seeing how the repairs and the installation of the new system would ensure that there is no repeat of what transpired,” Ngcani said.

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Cape Argus

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