New Musina Ring Road breathes life into border town
Limpopo, 31 August 2022 – Construction of the new Musina Ring Road, set to be officially launched by National Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday, was a financial boon to the tune of millions for residents and small-and-medium businesses in the town.
The R640-million South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) project provided much-needed work opportunities for a number of locals and Musina SMMEs.
The Musina Ring Road, which diverts the N1 traffic around the border town, is currently open to traffic, much to the relief of motorists, business leaders and taxi organisations.
Owen Simba, site manager at local business Makali Construction said: “My construction company built the bridges and the culverts at an investment of R114-million. We created jobs for 12 skilled labourers as well as 23 local general workers.
“As the project progressed, we added more people. SANRAL is committed to creating equitable access for small contractors, particularly black-owned enterprises through its procurement processes.”
Hennie Kotze, project engineer for SANRAL’s Northern Region, said the new road brings much-needed relief to roads in the Musina central business district, where trucks travel to and from the Beitbridge border post, gateway to many Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries that trade with South Africa.
Before the Ring Road, more than 1 000 heavy-duty vehicles and trucks used the N1, passing through the Musina CBD daily, causing significant damage to the road infrastructure in the town.
Intersections and lower speed restrictions created heavy traffic congestion – and heavy passing traffic resulted in acrimony with locals.
“I am confident that road users and residents are enjoying the benefits of the newly constructed Musina Ring Road,” said Kotze.
Cross-border truck driver Joseph Masinire, from Zimbabwe, said the new road would ease congestion between Musina and Beitbridge border post, and save travel time.
“We used to experience traffic congestion as a result of the many trucks travelling to and from the border post. This caused heavy delays, which became worse during Easter, the festive season and on long weekends,” he said.
Musina business leader Mosses Matshivha said the new road would reduce dust blown up by traffic which created health hazards for residents.
He said it would also save travel time for road users and reduce vehicle operating costs.
“This road will improve the quality of life for Musina residents, while improving economic activity and helping economic recovery in the far north of the country.
“Our businesses will do well because heavy-duty vehicles are no longer sharing the narrow roads with local road users and pedestrians. Heavy vehicles passing through the Musina CBD were posing a danger to pedestrians and were overshadowing our premises,” said Matshivha.
Kaizer Phiri, chairperson of the Musina Nancefield Taxi Association, said taxi operators gave credit to SANRAL for designing a “classy road network”.
“Musina was now looking like Gauteng and Durban when it comes to road infrastructure,” said Phiri.
“The opening of this road also comes as a huge relief to us as taxi operators, pedestrians and all road users in the area.
“People around Musina are excited to see the new road as it alleviates congestion in the CBD,” Phiri said.
Titus Madamalala, vice chairperson of the Mus-Shuttle Taxi Association, said customers were over the moon that metered taxis were operating on a state-of-the-art road network which was a catalyst for socio-economic development.
Musina Local Municipality mayor Godfrey Mawela was excited about the job opportunities that the project brought to his town and was thankful to SANRAL for its investment in SMMEs and local labour.