Progress in Manzini City’s Ongoing Capital Projects
Indications are that there is good progress in the various ongoing capital projects that are being delivered by the Municipal Council of Manzini in the Hub of the Kingdom of Eswatini. The projects, which form part of the city’s 2019-2024 Integrated Development Plan, include construction of the Bosco bridge and three associated roads, reconstruction of Samuel bridge in Ngwane Park as well as the redesign of citywide roads. Today’s article seeks to give an update on progress in relation to these projects;
- CONSTRUCTION OF BOSCO BRIDGE AND ASSOCIATED ROADS
Following completion of the first phase of the Bosco bridge construction project, which first phase entailed construction of a new road from D98 road near KaZakhali School through Springle Farm in Ngwane Park and further down to the Mzimnene river near Bosco Skills Centre; early last month the Municipal Council of Manzini embarked on the second phase of the project. The second phase entails construction of a bridge that will connect the Springle Farm road with the Southern Distributor road near Bosco Skills Centre. Furthermore, it entails the rehabilitation of the Southern Distributor road, Mimosa road in Coates Valley, and Tikhuba road (also in Coates Valley) up to the traffic circle near Manzini Club. It also entails the construction of a new traffic circle near Bosco Skills Centre for purposes of easy traffic connection to the Southern Distributor road and Mhlakuvane street. The project scope also covers reconstruction of storm water drains along the roads that are under rehabilitation; as well as walkways, signage and road marking. All things constant, the E45.5 million project, which the Municipality is delivering on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with AG Thomas (PTY) Ltd, is expected to be completed in March 2023; due to its magnitude. Progress is at about 20 percent so far. Residents who live along the affected roads have already been engaged for purposes of giving them details about the project as well as possible temporary inconveniences that may be experienced. In a nutshell, residents, particularly those in Ngwane Park and surrounding areas, have expressed excitement about the project. Moreso because it will provide an additional entry/exit point into the city centre as well as a much needed traffic congestion relief on the D98 road (from Mathayini to the Zakhele Remand Centre) during peak hours.
- CONSTRUCTION OF SAMUEL STREET BRIDGE IN NGWANE PARK
The Municipal Council of Manzini has also embarked on the reconstruction of Samuel Street Bridge in Ngwane Park. The bridge, which connects Samuel street with Linda street, experienced structural failure about five years ago; resulting in it being inaccessible by both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. With the six months reconstruction project having commenced in June 2021, it is expected that, all things constant, completion be achieved by December 2021. Progress is currently at 25 percent. Neighbouring residents are requested to ensure children keep away from the construction site in order to avoid accidents. The project is being deliverd by Pots Construction on behalf of the Municipality.
- REDESIGN OF CITY ROADS
The 2019-2024 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) points to a number of roads that need to be either upgraded, reconstructed or rehabilitated. The requirement is that before any road construction project can commence, it must be properly designed. The Municipal Council of Manzini’s approach is to do a bulk redesign for all the roads that form part of the IDP so that when time comes for commencement of the actual construction works, the preliminary designs are already available and there is no need to start the process from scratch. This approach is advantageous because it does not only reduce the project duration but also the total delivery cost. The Municipality, through professional civil engineering consultants E.D Simelane and Associates, is in the process of putting together preliminary designs for a total of 17 roads and storm water drains as part of the project. In fact, final designs are currently being prepared towards storm water drains on Lishongololo/Mhlaba as well as Linda street in Ngwane Park; an indication that construction thereof is about to commence. The redesign scope includes the road pavement (that is, the actual road surface), walkways and storm water drains. Progress is presently at 40 percent.
…RECENT RAINS: MUNICIPALITY ALREADY ATTENDING TO AFFECTED ROADS
A number of roads, both gravel and surfaced, have been affected by the recent rains. Potholes have developed on deteriorated old surfaced roads and the riding quality has also been affected on gravel roads. The Municipal Council of Manzini would like to assure citizens that it has conducted an inspection of the roads following the rains and went back to the drawing board to craft an action plan. The plan is to start off with the worse affected roads and thereafter gravitate to the least affected ones; the ultimate goal being to ensure all affected roads are eventually attended to. The Municipality requests citizens to be patient in the meantime. Since the weather conditions have not yet improved and the road surface is still wet, the Municipality has started off by applying stabilized gravel on potholes; and once the surface is dry enough, asphalt pothole patching will be applied. The Municipality is also in the process of attending to blocked storm water drains that have resulted in flooding of properties. Again, citizens are urged to bear with the Municipality. Most importantly, citizens are encouraged to continue reporting damaged roads through the Municipality’s 24/7 Call Centre (800 2004). The toll-free number is now also accessible by cellphone. Alternatively, they may report through the newly introduced official WhatsApp number (7808 2333) or by email to email@example.com or through the ‘Manzini News’ Facebook page.