Bridge to enhance tourism and reduce congestion at Martinsdrift
Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) has signed a P104 million contract with Estate Construction Company for the erection of the Platjan Bridge.
SPEDU Chief Executive Officer, Mokubung Mokubung, last Wednesday said the Platjan Bridge Construction project is a strategic diversification initiative between Botswana and South Africa.
Speaking at the signing of a contract ceremony between SPEDU officials and the project contractor at Cresta Bosele, Selebi Phikwe, Mokubung said the project is a result of a bilateral agreement between the two states.
“Under the bi-lateral covenant, Botswana has committed to the construction of this bridge across Limpopo River near Mathathane whilst South Africa has agreed to construct the bridge across Notwane River in Ramotswa,” the SPEDU boss told his audience adding that both bridges which are located at border posts are meant to ease travel between the two countries.
On another note Mokubung said the Platjan Bridge which is jointly funded by the Botswana government and the European Union will among other things increase flow into Selebi Phikwe, reduce travel times for tourists on their way to destinations such as the Okavango Delta and de-congest the busy Martins Drift Border Post.
“The strategic importance of the Platjan Bridge is not necessarily limited to enhance the tourism industry. It will also support further development of the agro business sector in the Tuli Block area” he added.
Another speaker at the event SPEDU Deputy Board Chairperson Ronald Yane said the Platjan Bridge project resonates with SPEDU’s corporate brand.
“As per our brand, the building of the bridge will ensure that there is cost effective and efficient logistics, reduced cost of travel and most importantly commercial optimization, mainly in tourism and agro business. This will further improve social cohesion and sharing of resources between our communities across the Limpopo River.”
“This will bring about increased supply of basic goods, food and general wares, as well as increased opportunities to share ideas that are educational, social and religions that define and shape our nations,” added Yane as he called on his audience to make time and attend the ground breaking ceremony for the project at the end of this month.
In his speech, which was read by the Director of Ceremonies, SPEDU Board Chairperson Dan Mahupela called the day “one of the most remarkable events in the SPEDU calendar”.
Mahupela went on to say that SPEDU is pleased that the Platjan Bridge project was now a reality in spite of a three year delay.
“This project was earmarked for commencement in 2014 under the roads department. SPEDU took the project for facilitation in 2016. We can now be proud that we will be commencing with a ground breaking ceremony on June 29,” he said.
“I stand very tall because this event is a real dream come true,” Mahupela concluded as he called on Botswana to use the bridge for the benefit of the country.