Road, bridge in south still closed

The Veeringing Drive side of the bridge and road in the south of Bloemfontein. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

Will the long-awaited opening of the road and bridge in the southern parts of the city finally take place?

Bloemfontein Courant previously reported that the completion date for this project was May 2022. Almost six months later, both entrances on the Vereeniging Drive and Oliver Thambo Road are marked with ‘road closed’ signs.

According to the Mangaung Metro Municipality’s (MMM) acting City Manager, Tebogo Motlashuping, the road and bridge that will connect the southern suburbs of Bloemfontein with the eastern parts will be open to the public by the end of November.

This project has been met with much controversy since its inception. The biggest of them includes a back-and-forth battle between the contractor that was appointed for the Vereeniging Drive extension road and the MMM, allegedly about large sums of unpaid monies. Motlashuping claims that the road that leads up to the bridge was not completed on time.

“We have since terminated the services of the service provider that did not complete the project on time. We have now appointed a new contractor that is now on site with the instruction to complete this road within a required period,” he says.

He adds that the Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Mxolisi Siyonzana, will be opening the road mid-November and from there the new contractor will continue to work on the sides of the road while it is open to the public. “At the entrance of the road, the contractor has already started to work to finish that part. The mayor will then open the road in about a week or two and thereafter it will be open for public use.”

The publication spoke to the CEO of the said construction company and he claims that he is the one who terminated the contract with the MMM, and not the other way around. He also added that there is still an outstanding amount of money the metro owes him, even after he allegedly took them to court.

The contractor sent Bloemfontein Courant documents proving that the contractor indeed terminated the contract with the MMM and is still owed a substantial amount of money.

Motlashuping says the only reason the metro supposedly terminated the contract was due to non-performance by the said construction company

Justine Fortuin