R20 bln for water projects

2011-05-17 00:00

KZN PREMIER Zweli Mkhize announced yesterday that the provincial government will spend an estimated R20 billion over the next several years on water augmentation projects.

He was speaking during a sod turning at the Spring Grove dam in Mpofana (Mooi River) yesterday. The dam is a national government project to increase water supply in the province. It will cost R1,67 billion and it is not part of the spending Mkhize proposed.

During the ceremony, attended by national Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and mayors of various municipalities in the midlands, it was also announced that the wall of the coastal Hazelmere dam will also be raised to increase its storage capacity.

The Spring Grove dam is scheduled for completion by 2013. By mid-2012 it will start storing water and the wall will be 37 metres long.

Mkhize said the construction of the dam is necessary to increase water supply in the province.

“Due to the topography of the province it is difficult to bring the water here.”

He said the dam will supply water to the communities around Mpofana and the surrounding areas, and will be able to supply areas as far away as Msunduzi and eThekwini Metro.

Mkhize said that over the next few years his government will spend an estimated R20 billion in water-related projects, but he did not give details.

Molewa said water shortages in KZN have reached a critical stage. “There is a shortage of drinking water and it is also stalling the development in the province.”

Vryheid is a problem area.

“In the areas such as northern parts of Ulundi we will be drawing water from the Jozini area. We are already laying down a R70 million pipe,” Molewa said.

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