Opening the pedestrian bridge Mzamba

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The community driven project ´bridgingMzamba` originated in the urgent need of surrounding inhabitants for a safe crossing of the river and included design and implementation of the suspension bridge in a collaborative manner.


buildCollective NPO
bridgingMZAMBA Community Steering Committee
Carinthia University of Applied Science

Structural Engineering:
Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG
Rudi Keudel-Schaffer, Bruce Plumbly

Video: Hadrien Clair

A Steering Committee representing the local community and client guided the process and carried on negotiations with necessary entities. The driving force of tribal authority, ward committee, governmental entities and stakeholders ensured a successful public participation and sustainable project.
The Austria based NPO build Collective teamed up with thesis students of the Carinthia University of Applied Science and engineers from South Africa and Switzerland for design and planning. Technology used is balancing environmental impact, available resources, state-of-the-art lightweight engineering, accessibility and aesthetics.
Overall project costs of 200 000 Euros (nearly 3 Million Rand) have been carried solely by sponsors, donations and personal contribution.
In several phases of negotiations, fundraising, design and construction since 2013, this extraordinary infrastructure could be realized with October 2015 as a self-build project of community members and volunteers from Europe.
The Mzamba Bridge is now connecting residents of a catchment area of 30km to necessary infrastructure such as educational facilities, health care, jobs and general food supply. Further it serves as a landmark and potential tourist attraction in the area.

Find out more about the process on

About John GI Clarke

John Clarke hopes to write the wrongs of the world, informed by his experience as a social worker and theologian, to actualise fundamental human rights and satisfy fundamental human needs.  He has lived in the urbanised concentration of Johannesburg, but has worked mainly in the rural reaches of the Wild Coast for the past decade.  From having paid a fortune in toll fees he believes he has earned the right to be critical of Sanral and other extractive institutions, and has not held back while supporting Sustaining the Wild Coast (, the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute ( and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (, in various ways.