HIGHWAY CLOSURE AFFECTS ECONOMY OF AREA AROUND SOUTH AFRICA’S BIGGEST BULK CARGO PORT

RICHARDS BAY, SOUTH AFRICA, The City of uMhlathuze says the weekend’s closure of the highway running through there has affected the economy of the area which includes Richards Bay, South Africa’s premier bulk cargo port.

There’s a port in Richards Bay where most economic activities are taking place, particularly of exporting coal. This (highway closure) has resulted in a lot of traffic using the eNseleni Route. It has affected the economy of uMhlathuze in particular and of the province (of KwaZulu-natal) as a whole because we are one of the busiest ports. We want to say to our people we are working around the clock. We have come up with a solution, Municipal Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongosaid Sunday.

The westbound dual carriageway of the John Ross Highway between Empangeni and Richards Bay was opened for traffic on Sunday afternoon after a stretch of the eastbound carriageway caved in because of a massive sinkhole on Friday.

The opened carriageway will be divided into single lanes to ease traffic congestion in Richards Bay. No one was injured in the collapse which happened during rush-hour traffic but a few motorists had a narrow escape. The KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Transport, Mxolisi Kaunda, said a drainage failure caused the collapse.

This is one of our major road networks in the province. It’s not just carrying the economy of the city but it’s actually delivering on the economy of the province. We therefore take it as a priority because it’s one of the roads that we have to ensure it’s in good condition. As to what are the causal factors of this sinkhole and they gave us a response to say there has been a challenge here in terms of the drainage system which impacted on the damage that you are now observing’, he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK