Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, and Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, have hailed the public-private partnership between the Mining Leadership Forum (MLF) and the department, which saw the completion of the first phase of the Vaal-Gamagara Water Supply Scheme.
The R1.7 billion water supply scheme, which is located in John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, is a joint venture between the department and the local mining forum.
The project, constructed by Bloem Water as the implementing agent, was completed in June 2022.
The project included the upgrading of a 75-kilometre existing steel pipeline to benefit various water users including various mines, municipalities, the agricultural sector and approximately 6,000 households in Gamagara and Tsantsabane Local Municipalities.
Handing over the completed project to Bloem Water to manage, Mchunu said the completion of the project was due to the collaboration between government and the MLF, which funded the project to ensure that water challenges are addressed in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.
“We appreciate and acknowledge this contribution made by the MLF and this justifies the fact that government jointly with private organisations can work together to expedite service delivery,” Mchunu said on Thursday.
He acknowledged the importance of public-private partnerships, saying government has demonstrated that it can build trust with private institutions for the benefit of the people.
“Let us use this trust and make this completed project thrive for the advancement of service delivery. The water sector needs more of these partnerships to ensure that water is brought to people’s homes, thus changing their lives for the better.”
Saul welcomed the completion of Phase 1 of the project, which will address most of the water supply challenges in the district.
He said that the Northern Cape mostly comprises desert areas, which lack rainfall.
The construction of the pipelines will see many more homes receiving clean drinking water.
“We truly believe that the only way we can improve the quality of lives of the people is through massive investment in social infrastructure, and that includes the provision of fresh water supply and dignified sanitation to the communities.
“We have witnessed the execution and the success of this water project, and we are looking forward to the second phase of the pipeline project,” Saul said.
Sifiso Nxumalo, from the MLF, said the refurbishment of the pipeline prioritised communities as the main beneficiaries, and it has ensured that more megalitres of water per day are being provided to benefit household that have been struggling with clean, fresh water supply in the district.
Mchunu said the department will forge ahead with the partnership with the MLF for Phase 2 of the Vaal-Gamagara Water Supply Scheme, which is worth a total of R4.8 billion.
“The second phase of the water project is also about the upgrading of a 260-kilometre remaining pipeline, from the Vaal River Pump Station to Roscoe near Kathu in the Gamagara Municipality,” Mchunu said.