Translated by Francisco Chuquela
If the KaTembe municipal district in Maputo was a mere waste of leisure, of beach and a circumstantial and painful passage to Ponta de Ouro, with the inauguration of the bridge linking the two sides of Maputo bay, it becomes a potential pole of economic development and tourism for the country.
However, to be a national reference, it will first have to be for the district itself and its populations, the majority of whom still live with high poverty rates, with around 80 percent living through family farming.
The Maputo-Katembe bridge inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, November 10 last (Saturday), which has the status of the largest suspension bridge in Africa, is in the “gallery” of the 70 references of the world with these characteristics will originate an investment demand.
It is not for less, according to Maputo-Sul company‚ manager of the bridge and related roads, on average, about 4 thousand vehicles will make the crossing daily, noting that in the first 24 hours (from 15:00 Sunday to 15:00 Monday, after its inauguration, more than 6 thousand vehicles traveled through this historic bridge.
In fact, the expectation of growth of this district is illustrated to us by the demographic estimate for the next decades. According to data from the General Population and Housing Census of 2017, KaTembe has a population of around 32 thousand and 248, and in the light of the KaTembe Municipal District Urban Development Plan (PGUDMK), in the next 25 years, there will be in this district 400 thousand inhabitants!
This plan foresees urban development in an extensive area of just over 4,000 hectares of urban land that today has rural characteristics, with urban infrastructure and public services still unsound.
Thus, the bridge inaugurated, with pomp and circumstance, presents good conditions of safety, comfort and speed, that the ferry boat, noting that a day carries, on average, only 200 vehicles, not to mention frequent breakdowns and interruptions .
According to the urbanization plan directed by Maputo City Municipality, the bridge will see a revolution in the establishment of new infrastructures and services at KaTembe.
Housing nucleus, including buildings, plots for trade and business centers, industry and logistics services is expected. On the other hand, a relevant tourism pole emerges, considering that the bridge connects, through the new road linked to the project, quickly to Ponta de Ouro and soon to South Africa.
This bridge is also an attraction because it terminates terrestrial connection from Rovuma to the southern tip of the country, as well as the African connection from Cairo (Egypt) to Cape (South Africa).
All these expectations of economic growth and tourism with the inauguration of the bridge constitute a range of opportunities for KaTembe’s population, through access to employment and potential commercial partners, as well as the approximation of the various services from public and private, with emphasis on Education and Health.