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 Environmental Studies News
Article contains comments
Updated 3 hours ago Dual-listed oil and gas company SacOil has completed Phase 1 of the field development operations at the Lagia oilfield in Sinai, Egypt. The South African-based independent company, through its subsidiary Mena International Petroleum Company, also completed hydraulic...
Updated 3 hours ago The City of Johannesburg, whose environmental policy innovations include an integrated waste management plan that covers all relevant environmental legislation, has been named the country’s most environment-friendly metropolitan municipality in the Department of...
Updated 3 hours ago The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the conclusions of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) ‘Financial benefits of renewables in South Africa in 2014’ report, published on January 21. “The results of this study...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...