By – SAnews.gov.za
The new Dumisani Makhaye Drive not only addresses the challenge of apartheid spatial planning but it also paves the way for economic development for communities in the area.
“It is my pleasure to officially declare Dumisani Makhaye Drive open for public use. The road is of high quality. It demonstrates government’s commitment to growing the economy and creating much needed jobs in the community,” said President Jacob Zuma on Saturday.
The President opened the Main road 577 – named after struggle hero Dumisani Makhaye – for public use.
Dumisani Makhaye Drive spans the uMngeni River and provides a strategic link between Duffs Road in KwaMashu to Dinkelman in New Germany. It cuts off a massive 16 kilometres for traffic using N3 to connect to N2.
The road will connect, among others, the communities of Newlands, KwaMashu, Inanda, KwaDabeka, Clermont and Pinetown. It is set to ease traffic congestion in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
Significantly, the road will serve as a new alternative route to the King Shaka International Airport for traffic coming from the Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown areas, which will now ease traffic congestion on the N2/ N3 interchange.
“This is a major step in the government’s drive to create easy access for communities for socio-economic development,” said the Presidency.
The completion of the R1.3 billion road infrastructure project makes it the biggest road infrastructure development in the country in five years. It forms part of government’s nationwide programme of infrastructure development.
The road has received a stamp of approval from the South African Institute of Civil Engineers, who praised it for the high standard of engineering techniques used without damaging the landscape in the area.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi, who accompanied the President as he opened the road at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, added that the road furthered the Department of Transport’s plans to boost infrastructure development in port areas such as Durban.
The KwaZulu-Natal South African National Taxi Council thanked the government for the road infrastructure as it will improve the industry’s ability to deliver transport services in the metropolitan.
The road is named after the late struggle hero, Dumisani Makhaye, who dedicated his life to the fight against apartheid.
He was born on 27 March 1955 in Cato Manor, otherwise known as Umkhumbane, in KwaZulu-Natal. In his quest for freedom, Makhaye went into exile to join uMkhonto we Sizwe. He later served his home province as Housing and Agriculture MEC in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council.
The naming of the road is part of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government’s Roads Naming and Renaming Legacy Project, which is aimed at naming and renaming roads and bridges infrastructure in the province’s roads.
The renaming is an effort to help communities reclaim their historical legacy, pride and heritage by giving new meaningful names to new and existing provincial roads and bridges.