The Olifants River Water Resources Development Project Phase 2 is intended to supply bulk water to meet the requirements of new mining developments in Limpopo province as well as community needs. The project is located in the Olifants River catchment area, incorporating the Steelpoort River catchment area, and extends into the Mogalakwena and Sand River catchments. Within this region are the towns of Mokopane, Burgersfort, Steelpoort, Roossenekal, Jane Furse, Polokwane, Lebowakgomo and the rural communities of the Lepelle-Nkumpi, Fetakgomo and Greater Tubatse municipalities.
The project encompasses the De Hoop Dam currently under construction by the Department of Water and Sanitation and a bulk distribution system funded and implemented by TCTA. ORWRDP’s five major components include:
- Bulk water pipeline from De Hoop Dam to Steelpoort.
- A bulk distribution system comprising pipelines and pump stations from Steelpoort along the R37 road that links with the existing Olifants-Sand Transfer Scheme at Olifantspoort.
- A bulk distribution system from the Flag Boshielo Dam to the Mokopane area.
- Acquisition of the Lebalelo Water User Association infrastructure for incorporation into the project.
The bulk distribution system will enable the Flag Boshielo Dam and De Hoop Dam to function as a single system, ensuring a higher water supply assurance level. The additional yield is expected to be approximately 80 million m3 per year, on the understanding that any yield reduction will be mitigated.
Mining and municipalities are the two main user groups for this project. In light of the funding constraints, water supply agreements not being signed, and the reductions in dam yield, the project had to be redefined by DWS with support from TCTA. DWS has currently secured R2.3 billion from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the tender documents have been structured so that sufficient flexibility was allowed to award the contract in full or in parts. This innovation was put to use when TCTA was only allowed to award Phase 2C due to the funding constraint. Phase 2D may be awarded at a later stage without cost penalty should sufficient funding be secured.
The construction contract was awarded in February 2012 thereby supporting the Minister to deliver on her undertaking to the Jane Furse community that water will be delivered to the Nebo Plateau by 2013. The engineering consultant for Olifants River Water Resources Development Project Phase 2 is Aurecon Ndodana Joint Venture (ANJV). Basil Read has been appointed as the construction contractor for the project.
The Environmental Management Plan for Phase 2C was approved. There were no negative environmental impacts observed during site investigations. TCTA also established contact with landowners, and continued engagement with stakeholders. A Basic Assessment Report process commenced after route realignment for Phase 2F.
Socio-economic development objectives
TCTA seconded one engineer-in-training to the consultant Aurecon Ndodana Joint Venture (ANJV) for a formal training programme which includes mentoring, such that the trainee can attain professional registration at the end of the project.
This project has experienced delays due to funding and institutional arrangement challenges, with the yield reduction introducing further complications. Inadequate regional and municipal infrastructure presents another challenge.