SANRAL halts Mtentu megabridge construction owing to violent protest
1st November 2018
By: Marleny Arnoldi
Creamer Media Online Writer
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The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was on Thursday forced to stop construction of the R1.63-billion Mtentu megabridge, which forms part of its N2 Wild Coast road project, owing to a violent protest.
Workers and management at the site were threatened with assault rifles, besides other weapons.
“The violent protest at the . . . site on the N2 over the last week is unacceptable and has been condemned,” said Sanral engineering executive Louw Kannemeyer, adding that the protest is disruptive and intimidating.
He explained that the reason for the protestors’ unhappiness is that not more of the locals could be employed on the project. “There are only so many jobs per contract, which unfortunately means that not every unemployed person can be accommodated.”
Disruptions that stop work on site affect the critical path and timelines for the completion of the project. These disruptions can cost the economy several hundred thousand rands a day, Sanral pointed out.
Sanral has called on authorities in the Eastern Cape to assist with resolving the protest.
Work on the bridge will continue once the situation has been brought under control.