Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane has officially launched the Vaal Gamagara Water Scheme in the Northern Cape.
The scheme, valued at R18 billion, will involve the construction of a 430 km pipeline and the drilling of boreholes to augment water supply for about six municipalities and 22 villages. This will ensure security of supply up to 2040.
The project will commence in July 2016 and should be completed in July 2018.
The minister told more than 3 000 members of the community that the project is the largest in the country currently and it will create no less than 1 500 jobs for people in the areas involved.
Speaking at the launch, Mokonyane emphasised the importance of the project for the communities of the Northern Cape and the provincial economy.
“Through this project we seek to ensure that our people have access to clean water and prevent incidences where our people share unsafe water with animals in rivers. We will serve close to 150, 000 people in 22 villages once this scheme is completed.”
The Northern Cape is a largely mining and agricultural economy based province and the Vaal Gamagara Water Supply Scheme will further create opportunities for the development of new mining ventures and agricultural activity.
“We are working closely with the private sector to ensure that this investment becomes a catalyst for future mining opportunities and agricultural industries. We are not just providing water but opening the Northern Cape for development by providing this necessary resource for development,” said the minister.
Mokonyane added that the project will decrease the load off municipalities and assist them to achieve the Blue Drop status they have been struggling with.
Quality Control Laboratory
Mokonyane also launched the R14 million Vaal Gamagara Quality Control Laboratory – the first water testing lab in the Northern Cape Province.
The Northern Cape has never had an accredited quality control laboratory before. Sedibeng Water’s Scientific Services Department previously performed a few routine analyses at the Balkfontein laboratory in the Free State.
This laboratory will help municipalities identify and address water quality and waste water effluent issues within the province and will help Northern Cape municipalities to meet the Blue Drop/Green Drop certification standards.