Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Rural bridges programme brings opportunities to 496 engineering graduates, says De Lille

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Sep 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said on Tuesday that her department has recruited 496 engineering graduates to work on projects to build bridges in rural areas.

“We recruited 496 engineering graduates, as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus programme, to work on the Welisizwe bridges project across the country.

“What makes me very proud of this is that, of the 496 graduates, 52% of them are females,” De Lille said.

She made the statement when she made ministerial briefings on infrastructure to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Her briefing covered the work done on the 62 projects that were approved by the Cabinet and published in a government gazette, as Strategic Integrated Projects, last year.

Addressing the NCOP delegates from nine provinces, De Lille said the Welisizwe rural bridges project was progressing well in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said the “lifesaving” social infrastructure was bringing great benefit, by providing safe passage and access to amenities, to communities in rural parts of the province.

In March, three completed bridges were handed over in Ekhamanzi.

De Lille said the work was progressing well, with six more bridges completed in KwaZulu-Natal – in Mangwenya, Amanzimtoti and the Mthoqotho areas.

“Five more bridges in KwaZulu-Natal are nearing completion and I will be visiting the province in the coming weeks again, to view the progress and completed bridges,” she said.

De Lille also said a few of the bridges were also completed in rural communities in the Eastern Cape over the past two years.

“This project is highly successful, with the modular bridges being completed in a matter of weeks, thanks to the partnership between Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Department of Defence, and the provinces, in installing these bridges,” she said.

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