Back to Africa Check

No, photo of footbridge in Kenya, not R11m bridge in Qwaqwa, South Africa

A photo posted on Facebook in March 2021 shows a group of people standing on a large concrete block over a culvert.

“This is an official bridge opening in Qwaqwa it cost 11 million… can someone please explain,” text below the photo reads. 

Qwaqwa is a town in South Africa’s Free State province. 

But what does the photo really show? We checked. 


KSh1 million bridge snapped in 2018 

The results of a TinEye reverse image search reveal that the photo was taken in Kenya in 2018. 

One article, by Kenyan news website, says the photo was taken in Machakos county, south of the country’s capital of Nairobi. It shows a pedestrian bridge over a box culvert.

In a 2018 interview, Machakos governor Alfred Mutua told the photo shows him inspecting the footbridge, which was yet to be completed. 

“This is a simple box culvert and the contract is less than 1 million [shillings],” Mutua was quoted as saying. That’s roughly R135,800.

In 2018, the South African Twitter account @AdvoBarryRoux posted photos of the bridge, claiming that it had cost “$6million”. Lilian Ng’ang’a, Mutua’s wife, responded to the tweet, sharing before and after photos of the bridge – which included the photo in the Facebook post.

“To verify, visit the actual area!” she tweeted

The claim that the bridge was opened in Qwaqwa, South Africa, and cost R11 million, is false.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.