Project nears final stage

2016-09-21 06:00
XOLILE MATWA, mayor of the Kopanong Local Municipality (left) with Sam Mashinini, Free State MEC for Economic Tourism and Environmental Affairs currently acting in the portfolio of MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, at the launch of the multi-million rand Kalkfontein Dam bulk water scheme in Jagersfontein.  Photo: Selloane Khalane

XOLILE MATWA, mayor of the Kopanong Local Municipality (left) with Sam Mashinini, Free State MEC for Economic Tourism and Environmental Affairs currently acting in the portfolio of MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, at the launch of the multi-million rand Kalkfontein Dam bulk water scheme in Jagersfontein. Photo: Selloane Khalane

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THE multi-million rand Kalkfontein Dam bulk water scheme in Jagersfontein in the Free State to increase capacity to nine towns in the province, is expected to be completed three years from now.

Construction work has been ongoing for nine years already since 2007. It entails the installation of a pipeline stretching over 42 km.

The initiative is a partnership between the National Department of Water and Sanitation and the Kopanong Local Municipality. So far the authority reportedly have managed to complete 95% of the second phase of the project.

The water project has been set up with the main objective to increase water supply to alleviate water problems in the nine towns, forming the Kopanong Municipality (Trompsburg, Gariep Dam, Springfontein, Bethulie, Philippolis, Jagersfontein, Fauresmith, Edenburg and Reddersburg).

Xolile Matwa, Kopanong municipality mayor, said the first phase has cost the tax payers R117 million, creating 82 jobs during its construction. He revealed this at the launch of the second phase of the project on Friday (16/09) in Jagersfontein.

It was launched by Free State MEC for Economic, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sam Mashinini, currently acting in the portfolio of MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The second phase of the multi-million rand project is said to have cost R44 million, creating 93 jobs during the process.

Gruelling work on the second phase entails reticulation, which, according to Matwa, took a shorter period. He said the project had been divided into three phases.

Matwa said the second phase involved construction of a treatment plant.

Although the project is to alleviate the residents’ water problems, Mashinini has strongly cautioned residents of the Kopanong Municipality to conserve water and refrain from wasteful use of water.

“Utilise water with caution,” said Mashinini. He launched the water scheme project on behalf of the minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, who had cancelled her trip to the event.

Matwa has also echoed the call that residents use water sparingly, considering restrictions in the supply of water in the severe drought experienced in the province and countrywide.

South Africa is reported to have experienced the worse rainfall, the lowest in 112 years, due to El Nino.

Matwa said the project will better the lives of residents after spending years consuming water from one of the mining shafts which contains acidic substances.

“The water was a health hazard and we want to improve the quality of water supply throughout the towns,” he said.

As part of addressing water-related challenges the residents have been encou-raged to formalise street committees that will report on water leakages and burst pipes in the various towns of Kopanong.

“Reporting water leakages and burst pipes will save water which is a scarce commodity,” said Matwa.

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