The Clanwilliam Dam project will be restarted after years of being on hold. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The upgrade of the Clanwilliam Dam will start early next month after Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti announced that the dam’s capacity would be increased by more than 50% by raising the wall 13m. 

The project will include the long-awaited construction on water canals and the removal of alien vegetation.

The upgrade will not only allow for more stability of supply to existing users, but also provide irrigation water for an additional 5 000ha to 10 000ha in the region, with a specific focus on emerging farming enterprises and transformation initiatives.

VinPro, which represents 3 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders, welcomed the announcement and said this bodes well for South African wine grape producers in the Olifants River region and provides the opportunity for a much-needed boost in investment.

Progress has also been made in planning of the expansion of the Brandvlei Dam in the Breede River region, through which the region will obtain sufficient irrigation water for an additional 4 500ha to benefit different agricultural commodities in the region.

Meanwhile, George Municipality spokesperson Athane Scholtz said the town only has enough water for about nine months. 

Since August 23, George has received 10mm of rainfall, with dam levels standing at 70%. 

Currently, section 2B water restrictions apply, with the watering of sports fields using municipal water prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches between 3pm-5pm daily.

The filling up of swimming pools using municipal water is prohibited, along with the washing of cars with municipal water, except for commercial car washes. Buckets are allowed and the use of rainwater encouraged.  

“Own water signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials. Applications for exemption of some restrictions may be considered on merit,” she added.
 
Water leaks and burst pipes can be reported to 044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300. 
Report contraventions of water restrictions on 0800 424 277.