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Construction under way for Kempsdale dam wall raising

11th March 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The construction phase of the raising of Kempsdale dam wall and construction of a pump station is now under way.

Inaugurated by Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu on March 8, the project, as part of the Greater Kokstad Water Supply Scheme, aims to ensure a sustainable and reliable water supply for Kokstad and its surrounding areas, namely Bhongweni and Shayamoya.

Zimile Consulting Engineers (ZCE) was appointed in March 2020 to provide professional engineering consulting services for the project, which is located in the Greater Kokstad local municipality within the Harry Gwala district municipality.

The scope of ZCE’s involvement includes design and construction supervision services for the raising of Kempsdale dam wall and construction of the pump station, with the brief including the facilitation of all relevant investigations, all legislative requirements and preparation of tender documentation, said ZCE water technologist Deleana Naidoo.

“The project has now successfully advanced to the construction stage, where ZCE will provide level 3 construction supervision and contract administration for the duration of the construction,” she said, pointing out that the project will directly benefit 69 146 people, or 11 521 households, by 2030.

The construction of Kempsdale dam wall and pump station, one of ZCE’s larger projects for this specific municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, has faced several challenges, including obtaining permission from surrounding landowners.

“Raising the dam wall means that the dam's flood lines would further encroach into potentially productive land areas. The processes of obtaining the statutory authorisations proved to be challenging,” said Naidoo, highlighting the various requirements from the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs to be fulfilled.

“The processes for the environmental authorisation started in 2020 followed by the application for water use licence in 2021, with both only being authorised by 2022. The local municipality assisted to fast-track these processes and minimise delays,” she said.

Naidoo also highlighted the key project exposure for ZCE’s young engineers.

“The project included critical engineering tasks that form part of the 11 outcomes required for professional registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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