Department of Public Works in Association with Engcobo LM Hands over Nkobongo Bridge

In the words of the great Tata Nelson Mandela, “As long as many of our people still live in utter poverty, as long as children still live under plastic covers, as long as many of our people are still without jobs, no South African should rest and wallow in the joy of freedom.” In that good cause of following in the footsteps of our dearest father of the nation, on the 13th of February 2020, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in association with the Engcobo local Municipality handed over Nkobongo bridge to the community members of wards four and six in between Deberha and Cobosi in Engcobo. This initiative of constructing the bailey bridge was mainly done to break the division between villages, improving better access roads leading to the bridge for schools and clinics, as well as to improve the economical standards of these surrounding wards through the employment opportunity of the EPWP program.In October 2019, SANDF(South African Defence force), DPWI (Department of Public Works and Infrastructure) and approximately 40 EPWP(Expanded Public Works Programme) participants were deployed to commence with the construction of the Nkobongo bridge here in Engcobo, in which the process took about eight weeks to complete. The honourable  Premier Lubabalo  Oscar Mabuyane said, “through the building of this bridge we can confidently ensure that no more grief over loss of lives will take place in these wards as this bridge is constructed to maintain durability for the safety of our communities around Engcobo.’’ The Minister of infrastructure Patricia De Lille also supported the programme of building of these bridges in crucial areas in which experience serve floods in rainy seasons.

“It can never be right that, in these 26 years of democracy we are still faced with people across rural communities living without critical infrastructure where it is a matter of life and death.” She said. The National Bailey Bridges Intervention Programme is precisely intended into improving a safer access to rural communities and other basic services such as schools, clinics, police stations and other institutions like SASSA. The bridge connects Deberha and Cobosi which was identified as major priority due the strong rainfall and flooding conditions in Engcobo. These floods which cause fatal accidents indicate that improvement of infrastructure is rather critical around rural areas and would provide Ngcobo with a safe environment. Like the old Xhosa saying “umntu ngumntu ngabantu (a person is a person through other people)” and let us revive the spirit of ubuntu (humanity) for no man is an island, for even an island is not alone, it has the water to lift it up.