Minister of Transport hosts DRC delegation in Durban
Durban, 7 August 2023 – South Africa’s roads infrastructure construction agency is a world-class organisation whose technical skills and expertise are much sought after by African countries and beyond, said Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, at a meeting with her counterpart from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Addressing a high-level transport delegation from the DRC in Durban, Minister Chikunga lauded SANRAL for “the world-class work you are doing and we would like to congratulate the agency for its involvement in projects that showcase your excellence and expertise”.
The meeting comes after the 12th Bi-National Commission on 6 July which was co- chaired by President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the DRC and President Cyril Ramaphosa. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on transport-related matters was subsequently signed on 16 July and this engagement is part of implementing the agreements set out in the MOU.
The delegation conducted a site inspection of the Mount Edgecombe Interchange which was completed in 2018 at a cost of just over a billion Rands. The Interchange was described as “a veritable engineering work of art”.
“This event today is an important milestone because it puts into action the collaboration between South Africa and the DRC, one of the countries very close to us on the African continent. Roads form an important part of any country’s economy. It helps to connect people from different cities and provinces and, in the case of our continent, different countries. But roads can do more than that, it can also help to develop the economy of the country, province or city,” said Minister Chikunga.
Minister Chikunga expressed the hope that this engagement will lead to a sharing of experiences that will enable South Africa and the DRC to implement best practice regarding infrastructure development that would help boost the economies of both countries.
“We hope that our positive discussions today concerning the role both countries can play in delivering road infrastructure has a direct bearing on easing the movement of goods and people across South Africa and into neighbouring countries which impacts on overall economic growth,” said Ms Chikunga.
Reginald Demana, CEO of SANRAL, expressed gratitude to government for recognising the world-class infrastructure projects that are being built in South Africa and beyond the country’s borders.
“We aim to make SANRAL the premier roads agency on the African continent and with our knowledge, skills and technical expertise, we are confident that we are able to compete with the best in the world,” said Mr Demana.
“To be involved in the upgrade of the DRC-Beit Bridge corridor is a testament and huge expression of confidence in SANRAL’s ability to undertake these massive roads and bridge projects. The Mount Edgecombe Interchange is an example of the world-class engineering that exist on our continent, which we as SANRAL can share with the rest of our neighbours in Africa,” added Mr Demana.
The Interchange is one of the major sophisticated interchanges, which was upgraded and completed in October 2018. It forms a notable landmark in the area with one of the flyovers being the longest incrementally launched bridge in South Africa, at a length of 948 metres.