#AfriTravel: New road connecting KZN to Mozambique will make road trips a breeze

2017-12-01 06:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town – Maputo will be a mere 90-minute drive away from KwaZulu-Natal thanks to a new road connecting South Africa and Mozambique.

Bongani Tembe from the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs says the new road will directly link Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal to Maputo in Mozambique.

"Currently, if you travel between Kosi Bay and Maputo, you spend about six hours. We have been told that once this road has been constructed, it will take about 90 minutes to travel. That is a huge achievement," Tembe told East Coast Radio Newswatch.

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Currently, travellers can access Maputo from SA by car via the southern segment border post of Kosi Bay in the north of KwaZulu-Natal, or through Swaziland at the Golela border post, and then through Swaziland enter Mozambique at the Namaacha border post.

For access to the rest of Mozambique, drivers can go via the Komatipoort or Lebombo border posts, or the Giriyondo border post in the Kruger National Park.

However, the new road will make dirt roads a thing of the past according to Tembe, who adds that local and international visitors will benefit from its construction.

"If tourists from different parts of the province want to go to Mozambique, they go via the Kosi Bay Border Post. It's now going to be much easier for tourists to travel to Maputo,” he says.

The road will also lead to development of the area shared by South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, and Tembe says that it “will facilitate trade” between SA and Mozambique.

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In addition to creating quick and easy travel between the countries, the new route will also “include the largest suspension bridge in Africa”.

According to Letaba Herald, the new road will be 120km running from Maputo over the largest suspension bridge in Africa, “which will span 680m and stand 60m above sea level across the Bay of Maputo”, linking Catembe and adjoining roads to Ponto de Ouro.

The road was initially scheduled for completion in December 2017, but Paul Runge, director of projects and development finance at Africa House, says that the road is expected to be complete and ready for use by August 2018.

He says it is “expected to lead to a stream of international tourists” and that KZN exporters should be seeking opportunities to develop ancillary roads in Mozambique as the province stands to benefit from a tourism boom.

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