The Stutterheim-Mlungisi Bridge was the culmination of years of planning, consultation and approvals. The vehicular and pedestrian bridge, designed as a series of arches, is being built of brick, the most labour-intensive way it can be done. As a result, the R15 million project created around 45 jobs and skilling opportunities on site.
A pedestrian walkway leading all the way up to the township promotes safe walking. The bridge, was built entirely out of bricks in an old style, is a new beautiful feature in the town.
The Cumakala Bridge and access road was completed and launched on 9 June 2012. The new infrastructure was officially opened by then Amathole District Mayor Nomasikizi Khonza and Amahlathi Mayor Mncekeleli Peter. A hand-over agreement was signed between ASPIRE and the local municipality whereby the municipality undertook to ensure its new assets would be well looked after.
The project for the upgrade of the central business district was approved by National Treasury with a budget of R26 million.
The CBD upgrade officially started on the 18 July 2011 and was handed over to Amahlathi Local Municipality on the 13 April 2013.
The CBD project included an upgrade of roads within the central business district with the highest concentration of pedestrian traffic and commercial activity; areas along the two main roads McLean and Hill Streets, the intersection at Grey Square and the main taxi rank and immediate surrounds. Works that were undertaken included: repairing existing paving; laying of new paving materials on pavements, provision of new benches & trees, extension and modernising of the existing taxi rank, repair and upgrade of the north half of Grey Square and its closure for parking, improvement of trading facilities for informal traders, upgrading of public toilet facilities, painting of some of the buildings and street lighting upgrade.
A main element of the CBD upgrade was the provision of tailor-made facilities for informal traders. It also introduced several improvements, which improved the town’s functionality and appeal. These included such features as:
• Wheelchair-friendly access onto pavements for safe crossing of streets
• Street benches and dust bins (designed and manufactured in Stutterheim)
• Tree rings and seating around trees
• New street name signs for improved visibility
• Shop front signage
• LED street lights for improved energy saving – these were designed and assembled in Stutterheim,
• Improved pavements
• New flower boxes with drought-resistant indigenous plants
• Three public toilet facilities (at the taxi rank, Amathole Spar and Amahlathi Library).