Sappers’ bridge building expertise harnessed in KwaZulu-Natal

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The Engineer Formation of the SA Army will, via an agreement with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), erect 18 bridges in flood affected areas of KwaZulu-Natal.

SANews reports that apart from repairing damaged State-owned buildings, the DPWI and the Department of Defence (DoD) agreed to collaborate on installation of what it terms “modular steel bridges”. The bridges are similar to the World War II Bailey bridges once held in stock by the Sappers and used to link far-flung rural communities, particularly in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, to services, including clinics and schools.

The government news agency reports 24 bridges, in total, will go up over rivers and gorges in the current financial year.

The government news agency reports “dozens of bridges” are “installed” in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal to improve access for rural communities.

While in the flood-stricken province this week, DWPI Minister Patricia de Lille appealed to bridge building teams to prioritise bridges according to where the need is most pressing. In another flood relief effort her department will provide a list of state-owned land in urban and rural areas for possible use to resettle communities displaced by flooding.