A BRIDGE will now be built over the Umzimkhulu River to connect the Umzumbe and Umuziwabantu local municipalities. The bridge will be built close to the spot where a bakkie carrying 22 passengers overturned, killing 11 of them last Sunday.
Mxolisi Kaunda, KZN’s newly appointed MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, made the announcement at the mass funeral service for 10 of the victims at Gumatana Sports Ground in Umzumbe on the south coast of KZN on Saturday.
The 11th victim, Zanele Mkhungo (25), was buried at Mehlomnyama Village yesterday.
Prince Dlamini (2), Omuhle (2), five-month-old Enzokuhle, Banqobile (47), Bawinile (14), Sanelisiwe (19), Sthembile (21) and Nelisiwe Mqadi (15), as well as Lungisile (18) and Thembeka Dlulisa (20), were buried on Saturday.
They were members of the 12th Apostolic Church from Gumbatali Village, Nhlangwini. They died when their bakkie overturned as they were returning from church in Harding.
The MEC said it had been a tough first 50 days in office since he took over in June. “I never thought I would be faced with two major accident scenes amounting to 18 deaths,” said Kaunda.
He said when he took over the department, he felt hopeful after the province announced a 2% drop in road fatalities over the Christmas holidays.
Maxwell Mkhungo, a relative of one of the victims, thanked the government for helping with the burial. He added that his family didn’t know how they would have buried their loved ones.
Inkosi Bathebuya Cele said what had happened in the village would take a long time to pass.
He urged drivers to stay sober and adhere to the rules of the road.