The Dumisani Makhaye Drive was officially opened on Saturday, 2 December, by President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma officially opened the road that connects the communities of Newlands, KwaMashu, Inanda, KwaDabeka, Clermont, New Germany and Pinetown on Saturday, Highway Mail reports.
The road is named after the late struggle hero, Dumisani Makhaye, who served in various positions in the KwaZulu-Natal government.
The completion of the R1.3-billion road infrastructure project makes it the biggest road infrastructure development in the country in five years.
KZN Premier Willies Mchunu said the road was built by the KZN province in conjunction with eThekwini Municipality, and does not fall under the Go! Durban project.
“There is nothing as painful as seeing your destination from across a stream or a cliff but not being able to get there easily.
“People living in these communities had to go via Durban to reach their friends, families or places of work,” said Mchunu.
He added the Dumisani Makhaye Drive would also be a new, alternative route to King Shaka International Airport for traffic coming from the Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown areas, which will now ease traffic congestion on the N2/ N3 interchange. After the ribbon-cutting at the main road, Zuma proceeded to the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
“This opening marks two special occasions, honouring the hero, Dumisani Makhaye after which this road has been named, and his wife’s birthday, which is today.”
President Zuma wished Linda Makhaye, who turned 65 on Saturday, a happy and very memorable birthday.
Addressing the crowd, President Zuma said he felt honoured to be part of this important occasion.
“This is a very nice present for KZN people. I had a chance of travelling through this road and I saw its beauty and the high standard of workmanship, and it is not surprising the road was recently awarded two excellence awards.”
He said it was important for people to know how the establishment of this road came about.
“After seeing an increasing population in areas such as Inanda and KwaMashu, a decision was made to establish this road so that people can get to industrial areas easily. We are happy that after 15 years, the road which is 16kms and includes bridges, has finally been completed.
“I have to mention that the engineering that went into this project will go down as one of the best in our history. The KwaDabeka area was quite a challenge as the road had to go through cliffs and streams. The engineers had to ensure safety and that our beautiful environment and landscape was not damaged.
“I really commend all the people who were involved. The building of this road also created much needed jobs and will contribute to our economy,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Makhaye family, Xolani Zondi said they are eternally grateful for this recognition.
“We knew at a young age that Makhaye was dedicated to working for his party and the people. He was very dedicated to his job. Although he worked hard and we did not see him much, we knew where his heart lay, with my mother and the rest of the family,” he said.
Zondi described his dad as a person who was dedicated to his job, and did not need accolades.
“My father would say you should not expect to be praised for something you are hired to do.”