Saturday, 02 April 2022 07:09

Completion of Greater Brandvlei Water Scheme will help enhance water security.

Staff Reporter.

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has urged contractors of the Greater Brandvlei Water Scheme in the Western Cape to complete the project.

Mchunu made the call during a ministerial media tour of the water scheme in Worcester.

The tour was aimed at inspecting progress made on the project, which commenced in November 2020. The project is expected to be completed by October 2022. It is currently siting at 17% completion, which is a cause for concern for the Minister.

During an engagement held with contractors at Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency offices, Mchunu noted that agriculture is emerging as a front-runner in terms of sustaining jobs and keeping the country’s economy afloat.

"This is a low-cost project but the impact in terms of the economy, particularly in the agricultural space, is immense. The progress of the country largely depends on what we do and what we do not do, so everyone must go out there and make a difference," Mchunu said.

The Greater Brandvlei Water Scheme consists of two State-owned off-channel dams, including Brandvlei and Kwaggaskloof. The project seeks to raise the Holsloot Feeder Canal by a further 300 millimetres over a four kilometre stretch, at an estimated cost of R21 million.

The raising of the canal wall will augment the storage capacity to ensure sustainable water availability in the system. This water is then stored and released into the Breede River during the dry Western Cape summer months. 

According to the department, the budget for the project was initially not classified as an emergency, but following the ministerial working session held in Stellenbosch in November last year, a budget was ring-fenced to ensure the completion of the project.

Previously disadvantaged water users, including existing commercial farmers and other industries, are expected to benefit from the project, after its completion.

The department’s Acting Director-General for Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement, Leonardo Manus, commended the Western Cape team for working hard behind the scenes to ensure that Cape Town and other surrounding areas do not run out of water.

"We are vowing to provide the necessary support to make it a point that this project is completed sooner rather than later," Manus stated.

Mchunu urged citizens to be an activist for non-pollution by encouraging people not to pollute water resources.

The Minister continues to visit every corner of the country, monitoring and inspecting progress in the various projects, in pursuit of adequate and sustainable water supply to households, industry, agriculture, and all economic activities.