Three years ago, families were shedding tears of losing loved ones on the banks of Jukskei River. Now residents of Diepsloot in the City of Johannesburg’s Region A are allowing tears of relief to roll down their cheeks.
No longer will they have to navigate the dangerous Jukskei River to connect to Extension 1 & 2, in Ward 95 on foot.
As part of its mandate of being a caring city, the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba, and Joburg Road Agency’s Acting MD, Siya Nodu, officially opened the R23 million Diepsloot pedestrian bridge on Wednesday, 07 August 2019.
The project started on 7 May 2018 after a number of people drowned as they tried to make their way across the Jukskei River, especially during the rainy season.
“In 2016 a young life was lost because of a lack of infrastructure. I am excited that today we fulfilled our promise and today we are able to deliver this bridge linking extensions 1 and 2 in Diepsloot,” said Mayor Mashaba.
Mayor Mashaba urged the community not to vandalise the bridge and applauded the residents for their patience in allowing the government to deliver services without distraction as well as avoiding getting involved in political squabbles. He acknowledge the frustration residents experience with the government but urged them not to destroy the infrastructure.
“The people’s living in conditions like those in Diepsloot are not what we aspire for, however, people have nowhere else to go. People are experiencing difficulties that have brought them to places like these. This bridge will provide residents with a safe passage over the Jukskei River.
“I’m privileged to be serving you. You are my bosses and I kneel down to you. The mayor is not the most important person, but the most important people are the community.
Nodu said that although constructing the bridge was not an easy project, from a job-creation point of view, 23 jobs were created and four local SMMEs were contracted.
“The bridge is about 165 metres long, but if you include the ramps it takes you to about 220 metres. As of today residents can cross safely over the river using the bridge. We are pleading with the community to please keep the bridge safe, protect it from theft and vandalism. This bridge is for the safety of the community,” said Nodu.