Bridge Numbering (South Africa)


Near to 9,000 numbered crossings over waterways, roads and railway-tracks exist in the whole of South Africa.1

It is not clear when such numbering was started. It would appear, however, that from about 1960 onwards number plates were applied to the bridge parapets on both ends of the bridge.

Originally large cast iron plates were used for the plaques. Over the years the form and size, as well as the material that was used, went through a number of changes. These days they consist of small pressed metal sheets.

The numbers are not given in any consecutive order. They merely are identification numbers; numbers of defunct bridges being applied to newly erected ones. (Entry authored by Konrad Voges)


  1. SANRAL - National Roads Update – Oct. 2014 BRIDGE MANAGEMENT - The 8 597 bridges and culverts on national routes assessed by SANRAL-accredited inspectors every five to six years, and the number grows as the road network expands. SANRAL uses an Overall Condition Index to measure risks associated with bridges in need of repair, and schedules work on them accordingly.