Work On Bridge Over Maputo Bay in Danger of Halting

Maputo — Construction of the suspension bridge over the Bay of Maputo, linking the centre of the city to the outer district of Katembe, could grind to a halt because the Maputo Municipal Council seems unwilling to remove a couple of hundred stallholders from the Nwankakana informal market who are blocking the northern access road to the bridge.

Cited in Tuesday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the chairperson of Maputo-Sul, the public company in charge of the bridge and its associated road network, Silva Magaia, said that his company has neither the power nor the legal force to demolish the Nwankakana market. The problem must therefore be managed by the Municipal Council.

“If this impasse with the Nwankakana stallholders prevails”, he warned, “the work will have to stop. We don't have the power to remove them. What we have done is point out the problem to the municipal authorities, indicating the implications this has for the contract and on the deadlines for completing the job”.

Maputo-Sul had hoped that the bridge would be “a Christmas present” for Mozambicans, but the initial deadline for completing the job by the end of December can no longer be met.