By George Mari, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Arts and Culture:
A multi-million rand Bridge of Reconciliation opened by President Zuma late last year near Vryheid, is fast turning into another “white elephant” for KZN.
Access to the bridge, which connects the Ncome Museum and the Blood River Monument is allegedly blocked, with one side locked and bolted – this as a result of simmering tensions between two different communities on opposite sides of the river.
The DA is extremely concerned by this news.
The bridge was originally built to symbolise the removal of racial and social barriers between Zulu and Afrikaaner communities involved in the Battle of Blood River conflict in December 1838.
Construction was funded by the national department of Arts and Culture for an as yet undisclosed sum however, it has been described it as a multi-million rand project.
While the DA welcomes the motivation behind its construction, it is clear that it is failing to bring about the unity that was intended.
The DA believes that it is the duty of KZN Arts and Culture MEC, Ntombikasi Sibidhla-Sapetha and her department to ensure that this bridge does not end up becoming a symbol of wasted funds.
We call on her to urgently begin a process of consultation with both communities in a bid to turn the current unacceptable situation around.