Delay in Clanwilliam Dam project a grave concern
The minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape has noted with grave concern the statement by Minister Patricia De Lille that the national government has “not yet started” with the project to raise the Clanwilliam Dam wall.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says the project was initially meant to have been completed in May 2018 at a cost of R2.2 billion.
“It was then relaunched by the national government in October 2018 with a cost estimate of R3.5 billion. It now appears that for the past three years nothing has happened besides seeing the cost increase by another R500 million, the estimate is now R4 billion.”
Bredell says in 2018 the people of the Western Cape was assured that the project would be completed by March 2023.
“There is no way this is possible if they haven’t started yet. The people of the Western Cape cannot afford to wait for another drought before action is taken.”
Bredell says the continued delays are putting the future of the region at risk.
“This is a critical project for our province and all the people in the Western Cape. It is critical not only in terms of water security but also for job creation and food security. We note that there have been staff from the national government on site since 2014. The question must be what have they been doing and how can the enormous cost increases be justified?”
Bredell says the raising of the dam wall will roughly double the capacity of the existing Clanwilliam Dam.
“This will allow for more irrigation in the region, estimated to be in the region of 5500 additional hectares and this in turn could see up to 3800 additional permanent jobs in the region thereby helping to grow the Western Cape’s economy.”
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
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