Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has identified the unlocking of the bottlenecks that brought the R4-billion Clanwilliam Dam project to a halt, and seeing the project through to completion as the biggest priority for his department.
“What we see happening here at the dam construction site is encouraging and there is no stopping until we finish.
The dam currently yields about 123 million cubic metres of water and when the project is completed, is expected to yield 343 million cubic metres of water, thus bringing into the system almost double the current yield,” he said.
He made the remarks during his recent visit to the project that was marred by delays in the procurement process, forcing the deadline of its completion to April 2027 from March 2023.
The department said while it noted the delays in the implementation of the Clanwilliam Dam project over the years, with the recent resuscitation of the project, the department remains committed to completing the work within the revised time frames, budgets, and specifications.
The Clanwilliam Dam project, situated on the Olifants River near the town of Clanwilliam in the Cederberg Local Municipality, is one of the biggest government infrastructure investments in the Western Cape and involves raising the dam wall by 13m.
The department said about R400 million has been allocated for the current financial year (2023/24) to implement the project.
Mchunu said the government directed a lot of resources to building projects across the country in its attempt to provide quality water to South African households.
“We have built a solid, tight management team for the Clanwilliam Dam project, and we will support them to see it through to the end.”
The department said direct benefits associated with the project as it unfolds include more than 500 job opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers, the development of skills and learning opportunities, and new business opportunities for the locals.
Infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers said the Western Cape government welcomed the revival of the dam project as there was a long history associated with the project.
“We therefore welcome that work has commenced and interventions by stakeholders to unbundle the hindrances. This will now further accelerate the hydro-energy projects.”