A new pedestrian bridge linking the two sides of the Mzamba River, Eastern Cape.

A community driven project, bridgingMzamba, addressed the urgent need for a safe crossing of the Mzamba River. The end result, a 140 Meter long suspension bridge, came about through an intensive collective approach between users, students and experts. The collaboration lead to the production of knowledge, cultural exchange and skills development. Design and technology was guided by the reduction of environmental impact, available resources and a remote construction site.

Placemaking Performance

Social upliftment – The community-driven project originated in the urgent need and request for a safe crossing over the Mzamba River. The project resulted in the design and collaborative implementation of a 140m suspension bridge.

Simplicity of design – In all construction phases, from a temporary access bridge over a tributary, to site infrastructure, the southern foundation of pylon and bridgehead, the northern foundation, to the pylons, ropes, hangers and walkway-elements. Throughout, the participants applied and learned skills, working with concrete, steel, wood and the necessary tools.

The cost effectiveness of the build.

People Upliftment

Used as an instrument for learning – Design and technology for the project was guided by the reduction of the environmental impact, the available resources, the implementation with laypersons and the remote construction site.


Community participation contributing to ongoing community ownership – A team of 20 residents from both sides of the Mzamba River and eight volunteers from Europe worked together in close collaboration, enabling skills development, as well as benefiting maintenance through the inhabitants’ identification with the bridge, so establishing a sense of ownership.

Evolutionary Paradigm

Interdisciplinary/international collaboration and technology sharing – The collaborative approach, working with users, students and experts through the production of knowledge, cultural exchange, skills development and responsibility, being achieved for all participants.

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