Question NW1883 to the Minister of Transport

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14 June 2023 - NW1883

Profile picture: Sithole, Mr KP

Sithole, Mr KP to ask the Minister of Transport

Whether, in view of the many reported cases of school-going children in rural areas being forced to cross dangerous makeshift bridges to and from school even in the most dangerous weather conditions, with the most recent case being primary school pupils crossing the Mvenyane River in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, her department has undertaken any follow up interventions with regard to the specified cases to address the issues; if not, why has her department not undertaken to fix bridges which have been damaged by floods; if so, what follow up and intervention has already been made in response to the specified case?


The Eastern Cape Department of Transport (ECDoT) is aware of the difficulty children in rural areas face when rivers are full and river crossings become impassable.

The National Department of Public Works & Infrastructure (DPWI) through BFI have secured funds with the purpose of constructing Welisizwe bridges aim at ensuring that access to schools, clinics, police stations are safe.

To this end the DPWI and ECDoT have entered into a memorandum of agreement for Welisizwe Bridges programme SIP No. 25. The following Departments are also involved in the rollout of this program:

  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Transport
  • Department of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs

The ECDoT after the recent floods have identified 49 bridges that will be constructed over the MTEF period. The following table confirms that:

MTEF Targets







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