Record road bridge for goods
Africa’s longest suspension bridge straddles Maputo Bay. The major project by the China Road and Bridge Corporation will link up a suburb – and simultaneously dynamise road transport to and from South Africa.
80% of all goods and passengers transported in Subsaharan Africa (excluding South Africa) are hauled in road networks. These are not always up to scratch, thus constraining the continent’s goods transport performance.
China building and paying
This is one of the factors driving ambitious road building projects in many African countries. The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is often involved in these efforts. The state-owned corporation provides both the funds and the workers to rapidly build new roads.
A bridge across Maputo Bay in southern Mozambique represents the latest – and most spectacular – example of such an effort. The USD 800 million bridge connects the centre of the national capital Maputo with the suburb of Katembe, and simultaneously improves the country’s links to and from South Africa, Mozambique’s most important trading partner.
The bridge is due to open on 25 June National Independence Day. Its total length of 680 m will make it the continent’s longest suspension bridge. Besides the actual bridge itself, the project also includes 2.2 km of access roads.
The bridge will improve the network of links between Katembe and Maputo, with the rather underdeveloped southern district of the capital having been earmarked for the establishment of new industrial and logistics entities.
Another one of the project’s core aims is to improve the flow of goods between Mozambique and South Africa. Mozambique currently exports goods worth approximately USD 1 billion to RSA, or one sixth of its entire exports. The former Portuguese colony imports goods worth USD 2.3 billion from South Africa.