mega bridge in SA

New mega bridge in SA will be the tallest on the continent. Picture: Dissing+Weitling.

New MEGA bridge in SA will be funded by Chinese money

The 223-metre-high mega bridge in SA will be the tallest on the continent. Here’s where it will be built and how much it’ll cost.

mega bridge in SA

New mega bridge in SA will be the tallest on the continent. Picture: Dissing+Weitling.

Despite a cost-of-living crisis and the failure of its e-Tolls system, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) is moving ahead with a controversial multi-billion Rand mega bridge in SA.

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The engineering project forms part of the N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR) and has been in the tender process for some time now. But reports from TopAuto have confirmed that the new mega bridge in SA is going ahead.


mega bridge in SA
Mock-up of the Msikaba suspension bridge. Graphic:

It’s called the Mtentu Bridge, which crosses the Mtentu river in the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela municipality of the Eastern Cape. And it will be the tallest bridge in Africa at 223 metres. The new bridge is being built in a collaboration between the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and MECSA Construction. And it has an estimated budget of R4 billion.

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Not only the tallest in Africa, the new mega bridge in SA will also be the longest. According to Danish bridge designers, Dissing+Weitling, the balanced cantilever, cable-stayed bridge (pictured up top) measures 260 metres.


mega bridge in SA
Workers at Msikaba bridge. Image: Twitter@MbalulaFikile

The bridge was designed by Danish company, along with the Msikaba Bridge (pictured above), which also forms part of the N2WCR. The company says its design will have as little impact on the precious landscape as possible.

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The N2WCR is a 410 km stretch from East London to the Mtamvuna River that concludes at the border of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The Msikaba Bridge began construction in January 2023, and will be the longest suspension bridge in the South Africa when finished. It will measure 580-metres long, above the 195-metre-deep Msikaba gorge.


mega bridge in sa
The northern side of the new mega bridge in SA, the Mtentu. Picture: SANRAL.

Initial site establishment and on-site office construction start this week. And the construction phase is expected to take 50 months, putting the estimated completion date near October 2027, says SANRAL.

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Good news is the new mega bridge in SA has a local labour Contract Participation Goal (CPG) of 4%. Therefore, R141 million will be paid out to an anticipated 1 080 workers over the course of the contract. This will create 360 jobs every month over 50 months.