Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development
WC Water Update – Clanwilliam Dam decision welcomed
Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.
The announcement by the Minister of Water and Sanitation over the weekend that the project to raise the Clanwilliam Dam wall will resume shortly, is welcome news. Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape visited the Dam along with his counterpart Minister Nkwinti on Saturday, 5 May. “I am very happy that the dam is back on the agenda. It has always been a priority project for the Western Cape, and delays have severely impacted agriculture and residents along the lower Olifants river supply system. The damwall urgently needs to be strengthened and raised and the benefits will be immense.”
Bredell says the national government plans to raise the dam wall by 13 metres and that construction will continue soon. “Once the project is complete, the capacity of the dam will be more than double. This is vital to secure water supply for farmers and residents, and to allow for up to 5 000 hectares of additional agricultural land to be irrigated and farmed by new emerging farmers in the Western Cape.”
Bredell said the dam wall raising had previously been subject to long delays despite the department’s internal construction unit being set up on site from 2014. “We're hopeful under the new DWS leadership the project can now proceed without any further delay,” said Bredell.
Bredell says the next project he would like to discuss with Minister Nkwinti would be to refurbish the existing canals running from the dam. “The Minister and his department has our full support and we are available to assist him in his endeavours, as we have always been.
At the same time, the drought conditions continue across the province and we want to continue to urge the public to reduce water consumption to enable the system to recover as much as possible during our winter months.” The average dam levels in the province has remained stagnant over the past seven days following last week’s slight increase. The average level for dams across the Western Cape for the week starting 7 May is 16.53% (2017: 20 %). Last week at this time the level was 16.6%.