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Mchunu reiterates commitment to deliver water to communities

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has reiterated the Ministry and department’s commitment towards the provision of water to the communities.

Mchunu made the commitment during the launch of Olifants Management Model Programme (OMM) on Thursday at the Ga-Malekana Tribal Authority, outside Burgersfort in Limpopo.

The OMM Programme aims to fast-track potable and bulk raw water infrastructure with a view of ensuring that the nearby communities and the surrounding mining, including agriculture and other companies in Sekhukhune District, Polokwane and Mogalakwena Local Municipalities are supplied with adequate water by 2030.

Delivering his keynote address, Mchunu said the OMM project is a huge milestone in the country’s democracy.

“This is a very good example of collective efforts; it is a three-dimensional partnership between government, the private sector and more importantly the people of this area. This is a huge investment to the current and future generations, and it needs to be maintained,” Mchunu said.

The Minister added that the programme, which is the result of a collaboration between Water and Sanitation and the Lebalelo Water Users Association (LWUA), epitomises the effectiveness of public – private partnerships and “will certainly go a long way in as far as addressing challenges in the water and sanitation sector is concerned.”

“Both the department and LWUA consider reliable access to good, safe water as essential to life, nature, and economic growth, hence it is important to embark on water access projects that help bring safe, clean drinking water to communities in need.

Over 130 villages to benefit from the programme

The project scope includes enabling water supply to Mogalakwena by moving a portion of the Lebalelo scheme’s current supply from Flag Boshielo Dam to De Hoop Dam, and developing reticulation and related infrastructure to benefit a total of 134 villages, amongst others.

The programme will also address pressing water needs to approximately 380 000 people in the defined areas in the Limpopo province, and will be able to create 42 000 jobs.

Programme funding estimated to reach R24 billion

Mchunu said the estimated cost of the programme is R24 billion and will be funded on a 50:50 contribution principle between government and the commercial users through the Lebalelo Water Users Association.

These include African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American Platinum, Assore, Corridor Resources, Cheetah Chrome, Glencore-Merafe, Implats, Ivanplats, Northam, Tameng and other industrial users.

Both the department and Lebalelo agree that the partnership will among others, unlock the strategic mineral and industrial potential in the region, and more importantly it will provide a range of benefits, including much-needed water security, job creation and socio-economic development.

Source: South African Government News Agency