South Africa and Lesotho agree on big water project

21 May 2013

South Africa and Lesotho have agreed on a $1.25-billion expansion of a joint hydro-power project to provide South Africa with water and Lesotho with power.

South Africa’s water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa confirmed on Thursday that the project would go ahead for completion by August 2020, according to South African newspaper Business Day.

Officials of her department said South Africa would bear the full cost of the project and that the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority would obtain the funds from various financial institutions.

Lesotho is a small country of approximately two million people entirely surrounded by South Africa.

Edna Molewa (Credit: World Economic Forum)






















Ms Molewa said the additional water was earmarked for new mines near Vryburg and for infrastructure projects at Steelpoort.

Tenders are likely to be issued late this year or early next year and the project will be a boost for both countries’ construction and materials supply companies.

The project will almost triple the flow of water SA receives from the LHWP to 70.1cm3 per second from the current 24.6cm3 per second. It will also provide Lesotho with 1 GW of electricity.

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