Concern over Cape Town bridge

Community leaders say they're concerned that people continue to dig for sand near the N2 highway in Cape Town, where four boys died this week. Community leaders are warning that it's just a matter of time before a nearby bridge collapses. eNCA reporter, Nobesuthu Hejana. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Community leaders from the Ireland informal settlement in Khayelitsha say a nearby bridge is a ticking bomb and may collapse. 

They say residents are continuously digging up the sand around it for building purposes. 

Western Cape authorities have launched an investigation to assess the state of the structure.  

The constant digging of sand under this bridge has caused one side of the pavement to collapse. 

Concerned residents in Khayelitsha say they fear another tragedy may occur. 

This after four boys from Nyanga died after they fell into a sinkhole while playing. 

“We’re waiting for a tragic accident to happen here," says community leader, Simbongile Dlokolo

"This is a busy road used by heavy vehicles. So, if this bridge collapses with cars on top many people would get injured. This is why we are calling on the government to assist." 

Some residents believe if the bridge was fenced people won’t be able to dig up the sand to build homes. 

“At the moment we haven’t experienced heavy rains, so residents have not been digging up sand since December. But as soon as we experience heavy rains," says resident Simphiwe Sityebi.

Residents of Ireland informal settlement in Khayelitsha have taken to building homes with sand they are digging up from under a bridge. #eNCA​ reporter, Nobesuthu Hejana speaks to WC public works MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela for more. Courtesy #DStv403

The province’s Public Works MEC, Bongani Madikizela, says residents must not justify their wrongdoings.

“How do you justify risking the collapse of an entire road, because you want to take the sand and level your house," he says

"That can never be, that is why we have people on top of the railway line claiming they have nowhere to stay. We cannot have that.” 

 An investigation will be conducted by the public works department to assess the state of the bridge. 

For now, law enforcement officers will be deployed to safeguard the structure. 


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