Originally set for March 7, 2005 the deadline for the tenders to study the impact of siltation in the Olifants River as it enters the Kruger National Park (KNP) has been extended for a second time. The new deadline is now May 4, 2005. KNP’s river manager Dr Thomas Gyedu-Ababio has said that this will be the last extension granted. “After the fourth of May, there will be no excuse, no extension.”
The extension was granted to allow three of the prospective tenderers a chance to source price quotations from Europe for some specialised equipment that the study would require. The study is expected to extend over several seasons. Silt from the Phalaborwa Barrage where the Olifants River enters the Kruger National Park has been implicated on more than one occasion in massive fish deaths in the KNP. The barrage has lost over 85 percent of its capacity due to silt-laden waters that have flowed in from upstream. The silt is largely a result of bad farming practises, such as overgrazing, that lead to erosion.