Mar 23, 2012
Study into R20bn Umzimvubu dam, power project under wayBack
Construction|Hydropower|Industrial|PROJECT|Water|Ancillary Infrastructure|Maintenance|Eastern Cape|Mzimvubu River|Tsitsa River|Environmental|Alfred Nzo|Edna Molewa|Gareth Morgan|Infrastructure|Power|Water|Eastern Cape|Ukhahlamba
© Reuse this
The dam is intended to supply new water capacity for irrigation development, and domestic and industrial water requirements in the Mzimvubu river catchment, as well as to potentially develop hydropower.
The study is intended to update a similar investigation undertaken by the erstwhile department of Water Affairs in 2006. “The detailed feasibility study for the Umzimvubu water project is intended to align the detailed work done some years ago to the possible current realities and will therefore not be an extensive one,” the Minister said.
From the previous preliminary investigations, a site at Ntabelanga on the Tsitsa river, a tributary of the Mzimvubu river, was found the most promising for a dam, providing potential space for a reservoir with a capacity of about 600-million cubic metres, capable of yielding 180-million cubic metres of water a year.
Molewa said the dam is expected to cost around R20-billion to build, including all ancillary infrastructure. This included the cost of a dam and additional infrastructure, such as irrigation development, a hydropower plant and bulk distribution infrastructure.
“A multidisciplinary team undertaking the feasibility study will look at the accurate assessment of the costs of the dam and related development, the environmental impact and mitigation measures, if any, the social impact, the economic and job impact - regionally and nationally - and the microeconomic viability of the project,” the Minister said.
The study is scheduled to be completed within two-and-a-half years and recommendations will then be made for final consideration, before project implementation. The earliest start date for construction is currently estimated to be during the 2013/14 financial year, with first water delivery expected in around 2018, depending on the environmental authorisation and funding arrangements of the project.
The Mzimvubu river catchment study area falls in the Mzimvubu to Keiskamma water management area, spanning the OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo, Sisonke and Ukhahlamba district municipalities, in the Eastern Cape.
“Crucial for the success of irrigation development is the availability of arable soils within the vicinity of the project. The feasibility study will examine this aspect in detail, but preliminary indications from the initial high-level investigation pointed to a potential of 11 000 ha being available,” the Minister pointed out in her answer.
Further, the project aims at creating about 2 000 permanent and temporary jobs through the scheme. Temporary jobs will be created during construction while permanent jobs will become available during the operation and maintenance of the scheme, as well as on irrigation fields and in downstream economic activities.
Edited by: Terence Creamer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...