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Charles Joseph Levey Bridge
Tsomo district, Eastern Cape

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT of the CAPE COLONY: Architect
Joseph NEWEY: Engineer

Date:1898
Type:Bridge
Status:Demolished after 1956

Suspension bridge fabricated by Harper Bridges and built by the PWD in 1898.

The bridge was named after Lt. Colonel Charles Joseph Levey who was resident magistrate of Southeyville from 1873 and then Xalanga from 1883 and Wodehouse in 1900; He served in the Boer War as Lt. Colonel of Wodehouse Guard and was Commandant of Wodehouse District; Appointed Imperial Commissioner of Western Transvaal and Magistrate of Marico district in 1901. In 1907 he was elected Senior Member of Parliament for Tembuland.

The bridge was opened by W.E. Stanford, Under Secretary for Native Affairs. Among Stanford's papers held at the University of Cape Town is a speech made to the Fingo people on the occasion of the opening of the bridge on 10th September 1898. A short extract from the speech is provided below:

"Under the wise direction of your Chief Magistrate Major Elliot, than whom no man is more loved throughout these territories! You have shown yourselves worthy of the great trust reposed in you by the Government. Look at this bridge suspended like a beautiful thing of the air over the murderous river which year after year in its flood time has devoured its victims, men women and children. Now there is safety for all."

The suspension bridge was demolished sometime after 1956.

(Basis of text provided by Colin Levey; adapted and edited by William MARTINSON)

Footnote: Dennis WALTERS confirms that the bridge was designed by Joseph Newey.

See: Harper Bridges

Photo was taken from the Harper Bridges site accessed 2015 03 30.

Submitted by William MARTINSON