With the construction of the De Hoop Dam being a likely event in the near future, the Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality recently held a water summit relating to water provision in the vicinity.
More than three-quarters of the population in the municipal area does not have tap water or sanitation, and a pipeline is planned from the dam to Jane Furse to help address this issue.
The pipeline is identified in the environmental impact process for the Olifants River Water Resource Development Project currently being undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF).
According to DWAF’s Ockie van den Berg, engineer in charge of options analysis in the area, current legislation means that the construction of this particular pipeline is a municipal responsibility, as it will be providing water for domestic consumption.
DWAF expects to spend several billion Rand to build the De Hoop dam and bulk pipelines that supply water for water transfer schemes between catchments and other uses in the area. Use of ground water is also likely to feature as a means of water provision for the Sekhukhune municipality.
Greater Sekhukune plans to lobby national government to access funds to help provide water to the many poor people in the area. The area was declared an impoverished area in 2002 and President Mbeki announced that special intervention was required.