Jan 2022 edition

Musina Road brings economic boost

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Expected to open early this year, the Musina Ring Road is one of government’s key projects in infrastructure development.

The Musina Ring Road is set to bring development to the Limpopo border town. Government has invested over R640 million in the stretch of road that will open up new economic opportunities for the town.

The 8km Musina Ring Road will enable the 1 000 trucks travelling daily between the Beitbridge border and Musina to bypass the overcrowded town’s central business district.

The new road, one of government’s Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs), is a single-carriageway freeway that has three major bridges and two interchanges.

During a visit to the construction site recently, Minister in The Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the road, which is being constructed by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), and other SIPs are an opportunity to attract investment to the country.

According to Minister Gungubele, once the Musina Ring Road is complete, it will ensure the uninterrupted movement of goods to the Beitbridge border with neighbouring Zimbabwe.

With a number of South African Development Community exporters and importers using the Beitbridge border post, the upgrade is set to improve the flow of economic activity between South Africa and its neighbours.

Vital job creation

The construction project has already created 3 500 jobs. The developers allocated 10% of the project to women-owned companies and local community members, and small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) were subcontracted.

Manager for Sanral’s Northern Region Progress Hlahla said that 19 subcontracts went to SMMEs from around Musina. “We spent R50 million on subcontractors on this project,” he said.

Carpenter Thabang Moeketsi, said since he started working on the project in 2020, he has been able to provide for his family while also being able to afford basic necessities for himself.

“My job is to ensure that the wood structures are properly put in place, so that when the shuttering with concrete is being done, it is done properly and is very strong,” said Moeketsi.

Strategic Integrated Projects

Speaking during a media tour of the construction site, the Head of Infrastructure and Investment Office in The Presidency, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said the SIPs are estimated to cost R340 billion.

He said the water, energy, transport and information communication and technology infrastructure projects that make up SIPs are part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

“To date, we have already started with 19 of the 55 projects. These are to the tune of R19 billion,” Ramokgopa said.

He added that the SIPs are expected to take between six and 24 months to complete, depending on their complexity.

Tendai Kudzinga, who is a long-haul truck driver, said the Musina Ring Road will make the commute in the area much better.

 “With a big truck, it takes time to manoeuvre in this town as there are too many cars that you have to share the road with,” he said.

Sanral Chairperson Themba Mhambi said trucks travelling to and from Beitbridge cause major damage to the road infrastructure in town and they also add to the traffic congestion, which creates conflict with local traffic officials and pedestrians.

Mhambi added that roads in towns such as Musina are deteriorating as they are not designed to handle heavy trucks. He explained that one way to ease the congestion, while simultaneously ensuring that roads last longer, is the construction of ring roads.

As part of easing border travel, the South African and Zimbabwean governments are working on developing a one-stop border post which will help with the flow of traffic.

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