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Wild Coast road progressing well, awarding of Mtentu tender ‘imminent’

Home Infrastructure Construction & Civils Wild Coast road progressing well, awarding of Mtentu tender ‘imminent’

TRANSPORT Minister Fikile Mbalula says the new N2 Wild Coast Road will bring massive economic benefits to the people of the Eastern Cape and South Africa as a whole. “The N2 Wild Coast Road is one of the South African government’s mega infrastructure projects, which is having a significant impact on economic growth, job creation and enterprise development which ultimately benefits our communities,” said Minister Mbalula.

Marking the end of October Transport Month, Minister Mbalula led an oversight visit to the Msikaba Bridge construction site on the N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR) Project outside Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape on Monday. Minister Mbalula said he was extremely impressed with the progress in constructing the Msikaba Bridge and praised the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) as well as the construction company and host communities.

Msikaba Bridge third highest in Africa

“As we conclude October Transport Month, we are seeing here the impressive advances on the N2 Wild Coast Road. Once the Msikaba Bridge is completed, it will be the third highest bridge on the African continent. I am very proud of the engineers and construction teams, but I also want to praise the communities and traditional leaders who are helping to make this project a success,” he said.

“This project is a good example of the difference we can make in transforming the economy of the country and helping to change the lives of our people through infrastructure development.” By the end of August 2022, R65 million in wages was paid to targeted labour, 396 people from the com the area were employed on the construction site. R399 million was paid to targeted SMMEs and 114 SMMEs had worked on the project.

The second mega-bridge on the N2 Wild Coast Road is the Mtentu Bridge, where work is set to resume shortly.

SANRAL Board Chairman Themba Mhambi said the award of the Mtentu Bridge tender, which was halted by the Board earlier this year, is imminent. “The evaluation of the tenders has been completed and the award letters are being issued,” said Mhambi.

About the project

The N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR) project is SANRAL’s flagship project in the Eastern Cape. The 410km route runs from Gonubie Interchange near East London to the Mtamvuna River on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape near Port Edward. Linked to the N2WCR are the Mtentu and Msikaba mega-bridges, 112km of new highway between Port St Johns and Port Edward (seven projects) as well as various improvement projects along the existing N2 and R61 between East London, Mthatha and Port St Johns.

The N2WCR project was endorsed by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) as a catalyst for economic development in the Eastern Cape Province. It is a major infrastructure project for the province and forms part of government’s 18 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPS).

The N2WCR is a key part of SIP-3, South-Eastern node and Corridor Development, whose key purpose is to serve as a catalyst to uplift economic growth in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The project is strategically positioned on the N2 route which connects four provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, traversing Cape Town, George, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mthatha, Durban and Ermelo.

There are several peripheral projects associated with the construction of the new N2 road, i.e. housing relocation, building access roads, crushed rock material supply (quarrying) and several community development projects (CDP) to train, mentor and grow CIDB Grade 1 contractors.

The shorter, flatter and safer route will advance road users with an 85 km shorter distance in comparison to the current route and will deliver a travel time saving of between one-and-a-half (1.5) and three (3) hours for light to heavy vehicles, respectively.

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