Spring Grove Dam nears completion

2012-12-17 00:00

SPRING Grove Dam in Rosetta near Mooi River is almost complete, with the most critical part, the wall, 80% built.

The dam wall is 37 metres high and 607 metres wide. The dam has a capacity of about 140 million ­cubic metres.

It is expected to provide water to at least two million residents in the Mooi River district, other parts of uMgungundlovu district and the Durban metro.

Spring Grove Dam was launched by Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa last year as an initiative to secure water for communities that had previously been affected by water shortages.

The Witness visited the dam last week to see what progress has been made. The wall is expected to be completed in the first part of next year.

Kogi Govender, of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, the implementing agents of the project, said they had encountered many challenges during construction.

“We had to deal with the issue of expropriating the land and we had to compensate all the land owners; we had to pay fair market value for their land,” said Govender.

“There are also many people [mostly farm dwellers] who were being affected.

“We have found areas where we are building them houses. The houses are standard RDP houses, but in cases where there are large families, more rooms are built to accommodate them.

“We are also in the process of relocating some of the graves in the area.

“It has been established that there are about 140 graves that will need to be relocated and many of the families had requested that their families be reburied at a cemetery in Mooi River, and there was a shortage if burial space.”

Govender said people who lost their jobs and income because some farms ceased operations were compensated.

“Some of the people had been laid off and they had to be compensated for that as well until they could find another job.”

Shami Harichunder of Umgeni Water said: “The dam will be managed by Umgeni on behalf of Water Affairs and it is expected it will begin operating next year.”

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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