The bridges over the river Kei


  • William Martinson Lower Albany Historical Society



Bridges -- South Africa


The article is the outcome of the author's long-standing interest in the number and variety of bridges that were built within a short section of the Great Kei River at Victoria Drift - in close proximity to the village of Komgha - over a 100-year period. The particular bridges under scrutiny - with their dates of construction - are as follows:

  • Temporary Military Bridge, 1877 (no longer extant)
  • Lattice Girder Wagon Bridge, 1879
  • Timber Railway Bridge, 1905 (only foundations remaining)
  • Relocated Lattice Girder Railway Bridge, 1948
  • N2 SANRAL Concrete Bridge, 1977.


Hamilton-Browne, G. A Lost Legionary in Africa. London: T. Werner Laurie, n.d. [possibly 1912], 46-47

Norbury, H.F., The Naval Brigade in South Africa During the Years 1877-78-79. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, 1880, 98.

Prichard, H.M. Friends and Foes in the Transkei: an Englishwoman’s Experiences during the Cape Frontier War of 1877-8. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, 1880, 96-97.

Roe, D. B. The Bridge Spans that were moved from the Transvaal to the Transkei. South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, July 1949, pg. 471- 474.

Walters, Dennis Bridging the Eastern Cape - The Life and Work of Joseph Newey.

Coral Tree Press, East London, 2014.



How to Cite

Martinson, W. (2021). The bridges over the river Kei. Toposcope, 52, 40–51.