South Africa’s Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has raised just over R15 billion in capital markets to continue construction of the Lesotho Highlands water project.

This is according to the minister of water and sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu.

The state-owned TCTA needed guarantees from the National Treasury before it could raise the private funding for the project designed to improve water access for millions of people in SA’s economic heartland, Gauteng.

“We have the resources, we have the guarantees and we can assure you we will be hard at work to provide water security,” minister Lindiwe Sisulu told lawmakers.

In March the TCTA said delays by the treasury, which were due to tightening conditions for support for state-owned entities, were putting pressure on the TCTA as it looked to raise R33bn in 2021.

Years of hot weather in water-scarce SA, coupled with a lack of investment and inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, has led to increasing dependence on the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho to augment water supplies to Africa’s most industrialised country.

The R15bn raised with allow for the completion of phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands water project, which involves the construction of a series of dams.

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