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South African Embassy, Berlin
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Topnews, Economy, Tourism, Press

23. January 2016

Africa's Longest Suspension Bridge a Major Boost for Trade and Tourism

The Maputo-Catembe Bridge Project, set to be completed at the end of 2017, will replace the current ferry system and various fragmented road systems that transport goods and tourists from South Africa and Swaziland into Mozambique.
 
Maputo Bay is an inlet of the Indian Ocean on the Mozambique coast, with the capital Maputo on one side and the town of Catembe on the opposite side. The bay is over 90 kilometres long and 32 kilometres wide.

Currently, for tourists, driving is the best way to see Mozambique. But routes into the country are long and arduous, with much of the road system accessible only by 4x4 vehicles. If you do not take the ferry, trips from South Africa to the capital can take up to nine hours to complete.

The 3 km-long Maputo-Catembe Bridge – Africa's longest suspension bridge – will cut the driving time down to four hours. With a width of 680 metres, it will be able to carry high volumes of traffic comfortably in both directions.

Construction of the bridge began in 2014. It is a joint construction and management project between the Mozambique and Chinese governments. On completion, it is expected to become a significant gateway between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community. According to tourism and business stakeholders, this will bring a major boost in trade and tourism.

The bridge and linking roads will have a great impact on tourism, says Ndabo Khoza, chief executive of KZN Tourism. Hundreds of thousands of people travel between the two countries through border gates every month, often taking up to 12 hours to navigate the 90 kilometres to Maputo on often hazardous and unmaintained roads. The bridge will change everything about the journey.

"This is truly one of the tangible legacy projects of the East3Route," says Khoza. "It will make it possible for one to have breakfast in Durban, lunch in Mbabane (Swaziland) and dinner in Maputo."

– Source: www.southafrica.info

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