Zille blames department of water for stalled Clanwilliam Dam project

2018-02-19 21:00
Helen Zille. (File, Beeld)

Helen Zille. (File, Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – A project which aims to double the capacity of the Clanwilliam Dam in the Western Cape will not be able to proceed because of a lack of funding.

This is according to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who on Monday said the project, for which R2bn had been budgeted as far back as 2013/2014, would not be able to continue because the national Department of Water and Sanitation had run out of money.

Departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau did not immediately respond to enquiries.

OPINION: Cape Town should serve as a wake up call for managing water in South Africa

Zille said the project was due to double the capacity of the dam to 340 million cubic metres, enabling increased storage capacity and increased water security in the Cederberg and Matzikama area.

The project, through which the dam wall would have been raised, would also have addressed the growing safety concerns due to structural problems in the ageing dam wall.

"It was all systems go, with the completion date scheduled for mid-2018. There was a lot of excitement in the area when the department's internal construction unit – Construction South – commenced site establishment in Clanwilliam in June 2014," said Zille in a statement.

Lapsed tender

"The department decided to go out on tender instead of using its in-house construction capacity."

She said the tender was never awarded and lapsed at the end of December 2017 due to the department not having funds to appoint a successful bidder.

"For almost four years, 53 departmental staff members have been twiddling their thumbs in Clanwilliam, waiting for construction to start. The cost for their stay – for the month of February 2017 alone – according to a reply to a parliamentary question, was R2.5m. This means that over four years, more than R100m was being wasted, while the regional economy declined due to a shortage of water," Zille said.

In April 2017, in a reply to questions in the National Assembly, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said the department was still evaluating and adjudicating the tender bids.

"Further details will only be known once a contractor has been appointed, after completion of the full procurement process," she said in response to a question about the contractors.

In a presentation in May 2017, by then department director-general Dan Mashitisho, it was stated that the initial completion date at the time of bidding had been May 21, 2018.

Businesses under threat

The presentation stated that no work on the dam itself could have commenced without the awarding first of tenders, which had been delayed through the supply chain management system within the department.

Mashitisho said in the presentation that an alternative implementation model was approved in November 2015, which required the procurement of a private sector contractor to construct the raising of the dam wall. The bid apparently closed in November 2016.

Zille said the drought in the Western Cape had placed an estimated 20% of farmers in the Clanwilliam and Vredendal areas under threat of going out of business.

"Much of this economic damage could have been averted if the dam wall raising project that was promised had materialised.

"The scandal of the Clanwilliam Dam wall project is unfortunately not an isolated case. Indeed, for every high-risk municipality in the Western Cape, there is a failed, delayed or abandoned DWS (Department of Water and Sanitation) water supply project," said Zille.

Read more on:    helen zille  |  cape town  |  day zero  |  water crisis

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.