JOHANNESBURG, The South African and Lesotho governments have agreed on the equitable sharing of contracts to be awarded during the construction of the ongoing Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which supplies water to both the Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa, says the deputy director-general of water and sanitation of South Africa, Lindiwe Lusenga.
Addressing a briefing organized by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) here Monday, she emphasised on the equal participation of the Basotho and South African contractors in the project, an ongoing water supply project with a hydropower component, which is Africa’s largest water transfer scheme.
It is being developed by the governments of the two countries and consists of a system of several large dams and tunnels throughout Lesotho and South Africa. In Lesotho, it involves the Malibamatso, Matsoku, Senqunyane and Senqu rivers and in South Africa, it involves the Vaal River.
Lusenga said the LHDA was committed to enhancing the use of black entrepreneurs, individual experts and smaller companies. She encouraged smaller and bigger entities to join forces form competent and financially efficient groups to undertake work on the project.
To this end, the two governments have agreed on the equitable sharing of contracts to be awarded. There are in excess of 90 contracts from now until 2025. The South African consultants and contractors will share on a 50:50 basis in all the advance infrastructure works, and on a minimum of 50% in the Polihali Dam and Tunnel contracts,” she added.
In all of these contracts, black participation, women, youth and disabled persons are guaranteed a 20 per cent share of the South African portion. To date, up to 16 consultancy contracts have been awarded and are in force, with six contracts in evaluation and approval stages, and two contracts are at the bidding stage, said Lusenga, who was speaking on behalf of the department’s director-general, Dan Mashitisho.
The Chief Delegate for South Africa to the LHW Commission Bheki Nkosi, reiterated the need to locate the LHWP within the strategic direction in oine with South Africa’s National Development Plan. Nkosi also stressed the need to ensure that the project must not leave Lesotho nationals more disadvantaged than if the project had not happened.
Phase II of the LHWP, which is envisaged to be completed in 2025, will be implemented in two distinct systems, including a water delivery system to augment the delivery of water to South Africa and a hydro-electric power generation system. The South African Department of Water and Sanitation is assisting the LHDA conduct briefing sessions in South Africa.
The briefing sessions to be held in Johannesburg and Durban this week target all registered Lesotho national and South African construction contractors and suppliers of related services interested in offering construction and related services to the LHDA and its contractors during the construction of the LHWP.
Part of the session includes information on lessons learnt from Phase I, the scope of Phase II, progress to date, as well as the outlook towards the future.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK