The Authority gets new additions to project portfolio

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, has since the start of the 2019 calendar year issued TCTA two new water infrastructure project directives, expanding its portfolio further.

 

The first one received directs TCTA to provide project management and advisory services for Stage 1 of the Mzimvubu Water Project (MWP) in the Eastern Cape. The Authority received the revised directive on 16 January 2019, and it replaces all previous ones in respect of Stage 1 of MWP, says TCTA Head of Projects, Sibalo Dlamini.

 

Stage 1 involves the construction of advance infrastructure, mainly an access road and staff housing, and the estimated project budget is R671 million. The subsequent phases of the four-stage project will comprise the development of Ntabelanga Dam, water treatment works and a bulk distribution system.

 

Furthermore, the scope covers the irrigation, construction of Lalini Dam and a hydropower station, and the investigation of other possible dams. The Minister of Water and Sanitation has not issued directives for the implementation of stages 2 to 4 of the MWP.

 

Mr Dlamini adds that TCTA is already assisting the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) with the preparation of a project charter and activities towards establishing a Project Management Office.

 

The government expects that water infrastructure development will stimulate the economy of the region; hence it deems MWP a strategic project. A significant spinoff for the area will be in terms of job creation during the construction and the operation and maintenance phases of the water and the electricity generation infrastructure. More jobs will be created from agriculture and potentially from tourism too.

 

The model that will be used in implementing the project entails maximising the use of state institutions and resources – these include TCTA and DWS’s Infrastructure Development Branch and Construction Unit. It seeks to promote socio-economic transformation and state institutional capacity by prototyping a template for accessing private sector expertise and partnerships while retaining state control.

 

The Minister of Water and Sanitation is leading engagements with stakeholders, including traditional leaders and communities, in the project area. Board Chairperson Zodwa Manase, Chief Executive Officer Percy Sechemane and the project team represent TCTA in the ongoing engagements.

The second directive, which was issued on 22 February 2019, is for uMkhomazi Water project (uMWP) to augment the Mgeni Water Supply System (MWSS) that supplies water to more than 6 million people and industries. The system services eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Local Municipality, and Illembe, Ugu and Umgungundlovu district municipalities. These areas collectively comprise the economic powerhouse of KwaZulu-Natal. These areas together comprise the economic powerhouse of KwaZulu-Natal.

 

Demand projections indicate that the MWSS is on the cusp of experiencing a deficit; therefore, there is a need for a new water resource. The feasibility study recommends that the scheme should include the Smithfield Dam on the uMkhomazi River, a 34km long tunnel with an outfall near Baynesfield, a balancing dam, large pipelines and a water treatment plant to deliver potable water to the MWSS at the Umlaas Road Reservoir. It is estimated that the project will cost more than R 18 billion.

MWP and uMWP add two more projects to the other two in the preparation phase that TCTA is executing. The others that are in preparation are Phase 2 of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation Project (MCWAP-2) and the Berg River Voëlvlei Augmentation Scheme (BRVAS), estimated at costs of R12.3 billion and R728 million respectively.

 

The construction phase of Phase 2C of the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project has been completed. The taking over certificate was issued in December 2018, and the project has been handed over to DWS for operation and maintenance.

Phase 2B of the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project, Acid Mine Drainage-Long Term Solution and an off-take pipeline to the town of Kriel from the Komati Water Supply Augmentation Project are on hold because of funding constraints. Meanwhile, TCTA expects a directive on the implementation of the Clanwilliam Dam Project.

 

The TCTA project portfolio mainly comprises projects in preparation and construction phases, and those on hold due to funding constraints. It also operates and maintains Acid Mine Drainage treatment plants in the Western, Central and Eastern basins of the Witwatersrand and the Delivery Tunnel North of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

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