The authorities have finally responded to the plight of learners from Madonela near Jozini in northern KwaZulu-Natal who have been crossing a river to get to school.
A pedestrian’s bridge through a public-private partnership between local government, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Motsepe Foundation will now help them to get to school safely.
We thank DBSA and Motsepe Foundation for building this pedestrian bridge KwaMadonela, uMhlabuyalinga. Leaners of the area will now have easy access to schools. Together we can do more. pic.twitter.com/COMVm51hfK
— Kwazi Mshengu (@MshenguKwazi) March 31, 2022
Community members will also use the bridge to access critical healthcare services on the other side of the river.
Eleven-year-old Lindelwa Gumede is one of the learners who would cross the river: “Before life was very difficult, we had to cross the river swimming naked to get to school and this was dangerous. But now the life has changed for the better, we go to school without difficulties.”
Patrick Dlamini, CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa has emphasised the importance of the private sector working with government to build infrastructure, especially in rural areas.
“We hope that they will be able to look after this bridge because it is their own asset and it brings dignity to their children and the elderly as the elderly have to cross this river to fetch their pensions and we are aware that for the government it is a tall order but as the DBSA together with our partners are committed to making the change and I’m sure we are going to see more of such development for the general population of our people,” says Dlamini.