Prioritise Ludeke Dam construction, says Minister Mchunu

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has called for the prioritisation of the construction of a 49-kilometre bulk water pipeline from Ludeke Dam to Mzamba village in Mbizana.

This, he said in a statement, as the Department of Water and Sanitation sought to address the ongoing water supply and sanitation challenges in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

On Thursday, Mchunu held a closed working session with the Executive Mayor of the District Vukile Mhlelembana.

Officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the District and Local Municipalities also formed part of the meeting.

Mchunu said the construction of the pipeline should be in tandem with that of water reticulation infrastructure to the surrounding areas of Mbizana.

The department said Umgeni Water, with a budget of R109 million, was appointed by the Minister to lead the implementation of the pipeline project.

“Phase 1 of the project was done but was put on hold in 2008, but the Minister and Alfred Nzo District Municipality through the Executive Mayor have agreed to kick-start Phase 2 which will entail conducting of the feasibility study, generation of the detailed designs and finally the construction of the bulk line. These processes are expected to be concluded in a period of 18 months,” reads the statement.

Minister Mchunu said the Ministry and the Provincial Department of Water and Sanitation, together with officials from the District will work jointly by establishing a task technical team that will oversee that the pipeline project takes off.

Minister Mchunu also emphasised that water reticulation should take water to the households taps of the communities, and not only to the communal taps.

“Let us leave the past behind and go forward on this project. The decision that has been taken here today needs to be implemented. Umgeni Water together with the Interim Board of Amatola Water will work together for the realisation of this major task.

“The people of Mbizana have been waiting long for water since the Ludeke Dam was built”, said Minister Mchunu.

Source: South African Government News Agency