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20 000 PEDESTRIANS’ LIVES IN DANGER

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MBABANE – An accident waiting to happen! Walking across the Eteni, Matsapha overhead bridge - one of the busiest and most used pedestrian crossings in the country, was one of the most harrowing 23 metres I have ever had to undertake.


All this took place while cars sped unchecked beneath me.
The steel panels that I was walking on shook and shivered under my feet, making the most agonising noise as if complaining that I was too heavy.


A section of the bridge is dislodged, if one pauses and gazes down, you can actually see the traffic literally passing under you. Parts of the railing on the two sides of the bridge have loosened and have actually dislocated, leaving gaps in between.


I am not the only one hurrying across the steel structure. About 20 000 other pedestrians rushing to different destinations literally speed across the bridge with the only intent of reaching the other side and their jobs. Loose panels shift as members of the public hurry across, oblivious of the imminent danger that the bridge exposes them to.


It was an experiment for me.
 Now imagine the thousands of Matsapha residents who cross the busy MR3 Public Road each morning and afternoon using the dented overhead bridge.


The MR3 Public Road is also known as the Matsapha-Mbabane-Ngwenya road. It is one of the country’s roads that have a lot of traffic.
Against this backdrop, pedestrians living at Eteni and surrounding areas in Matsapha make their way across the overhead bridge that was damaged by a truck that was hauling an abnormal cargo a couple of years ago which has not been attended to. According to earlier reports, the truck was transporting a concrete mixer to an unknown building site.

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