Residents of the Mpembeni area near Esikhaleni in Richards Bay on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal are safer walking along the roads in the area. This comes after Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) built three new roads in the area at a cost of R73 million.
The roads – D887, D1597 and P537 – were built by RBM, in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport. People from the local communities of Dube and Mkhwanazi were employed during the construction of the new roads.
“We feel so much safer now with proper roads. Thank you, Richards Bay Minerals.” This was the common refrain from residents, motorists and pedestrians using the new roads.
“Roads exist to connect communities, to open new horizons, to bring people to opportunities and opportunities to people,” added RBM MD Werner Duvenhage at a ceremony to mark the opening of the roads this week.
“RBM has always striven to support the efforts by government to push back the frontiers of poverty and improve the lives of South African citizens in general by promoting community development through all its projects.”
Duvenhage added that RBM will continue enhancing the positive relationship that will ensure further advancement of the communities that are RBM’s home and leave a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.
Speaking at the event, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli said communities in the area had suffered great hardship without proper roads, especially in the rainy season when school children were forced to stay at home.
“The new roads will also benefit the large number of people who commute to work. The new roads will assist in the encouragement of the local economy as proper road networks make it possible for local businesses to thrive in the area,” he concluded.