N2WCR: thousands came to listen

Former Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande addressed various stakeholders at the N2WCR Ministerial imbizo held in Lambasi Village, Lusikisiki on 6 April 2019.

The N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR) ministerial imbizo held in Ward 24, Lambasi village in Lusikisiki near the site of the new Msikaba megabridge on 6 April attracted more than 1 000 people from local and neighbouring villages of Ingquza Hill, Port St Johns and Mbizana municipalities.

Former Eastern Cape Premier, Mr Phumulo Masualle, and the King of Pondoland, His Majesty Zanozuko Sigcau, were amongst the dignitaries that spoke at the imbizo.

The then Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, hosted the imbizo to provide a platform to discuss issues relating to the N2WCR project, particularly delays around construction of the Mtentu Bridge, and to provide an update on the Msikaba Bridge’s imminent commencement of construction.

The N2WCR project entails a 410km stretch of road from East London to the Mtamvuna River on the boundary of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Construction started in 2011, with the major 112km long greenfields portion between Port St Johns and Port Edward starting in 2016.

The project will unlock tourism and agriculture opportunities for the people of Pondoland.

Over 8 000 full-time equivalent direct jobs and 16 000 to 18 000 indirect jobs will be created during construction of the greenfields portion.

The project provides a major opportunity for the development of local targeted enterprises.

“The N2 Wild Coast Road is a provincial project that both the provincial and national government want to see succeed,” said Mr Masualle.

Dr Nzimande said it is important that communities participate in meetings in order to be kept abreast of developments around the N2WCR project.

He acknowledged that technical projects such as the construction of the two N2WCR mega bridges, Mtentu and Msikaba, required specialist skills from abroad but that it was critical for the Department of Transport to ensure local beneficiation and participation by target enterprises through developing peripheral projects linked to the main project, which would be ringfenced for local contractors and suppliers.

During the feedback session speaker after speaker expressed their excitement and full support for the project with some calling on each other to resolve local issues and rivalries and to work together to ensure the success of the project.