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The new bridge at Ramotswa

SANDY GRANT
Bridges are very much my thing. That is, bridges which span rivers, which leap across gorges – not that we have any of those here - and bridges which carry railways.

But this, unfortunately, is not a great country for bridges.  Nor, like bridges, is it a great country for historic buildings which is another of my little interests - the oldest standing building of which I am aware dates back only to 1871.

But hold it, because right now it just happens that no less than three bridges are currently being constructed although absolutely no information has been provided about two of them which is odd, and no recent information has been provided about the other which is probably even odder. 

The assumption, presumably, is that no one is interested therefore there is no need to report what is being done. Oh dear. Anyway, the three bridges in question could hardly be more different.  One, the new Kazangula bridge is so important that the Daily News really does need to up its act and to start providing its readers with monthly progress reports.   The second bridge across the Notwane River at Ramotswa – seen in this photo – appears bound to be, when completed, a large, prestigious construction. These two bridges will be brand new. The third bridge at Odi – in fact there will be two because the Notwane divides at this point – will be a replacement for the two wobbly jobs that were put

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in place sometime in the mid-1970s.

 But then these two mini-bridges will not be bridges at all, because they, as with their predecessors, will be not much more than larger scale culverts; the difference between the old and the new being that the former was made using corrugated iron and the latter is deploying drop-in concrete culverts which being narrow will trap all the detritus coming down the flooding river.

I confess to disappointment.  I had hoped that the new Odi bridge(s) would be an award-winning job in line with the village’s vast new prestige college, something which would help compensate drivers for the ruination of their vehicles’ suspension when using the one-way diversion ford into the village.  In the end, however, it’s to be just another culvert! If there was enough available cash to construct only one high-class bridge, it was probably inevitable that it would be Ramotswa which got the government’s nod.   Ramotswa is after all, an international border point and once through the formalities it is possible for a driver to get straight, or more or less straight, to Nietverdiend. Get past Oodi and drivers find themselves in Modipane and Dikwididi – so it obviously comes down to a choice.

If you were the driver, which would you prefer! So Ramotswa it is!



Etcetera II

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