South Africa: Construction of Msikaba Bridge Will Create Around 36 000 Jobs

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Msikaba bridge in the Eastern Cape will create around 36 000 jobs and contribute R4bn to local enterprises.
  •  The Msikaba bridge is a cable-stayed steel deck bridge which will span the Msikaba River, near Lusisiki in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
  • The bridge forms part of the N2 Wild Coast road (N2WC) project, which aims to improve the travel time between Durban and East London for heavy freight vehicles.

Designed by the Danish firm Dissing+Weitling, the bridge when complete, will have a main span of 580m supported from a pair of 127m-tall pylons. The deck will be 194m above the valley floor, making it the third highest bridge in Africa. The project is set to be completed by the end of 2025 or beginning of 2026.

“A local black contractor is leading the construction and already R120 million had gone into small, local businesses,” South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, was speaking on Thursday this past week during an inspection of the under-construction foundation of the bridge in Lusikisiki. Concor Infrastructure and Mota Engil construction are the joint venture tasked with the contrcution of the bridge.

Msikaba Bridge concrete works. Image credit: Wikipedia

Ramaphosa added that the project would create between 21 000 to 28 000 indirect jobs during the construction phase and 8 000 direct full-time jobs when completed.

“These are jobs that didn’t exist here, now through this project, around about 28 000 indirect jobs will flow from this project, and if you add the 8 000 jobs that are going to be created during the life of this project, we are talking about a substantial number of jobs.

He also revealed that this translated to a wage bill of R720 million, with skilled and unskilled workers already employed in the project,” he said.

“The CEO of the main construction company was saying to me that they are also training local young people in this area, to be engineers. They are putting them through training, they are going to give them scholarships and they are going to make sure they become certificated engineers,” said Ramaphosa.

He said 62% of the total workforce of the bridge project were locals and of the 330 workers, 156 were employed by the main contractor, while local sub-contractors employed 173.

Black companies were at the helm of the project and that “pleases me”, he added.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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