Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu reiterated the Ministry and department’s commitment towards the provision of water to the communities.This authoritative announcement was made during the launch of the Olifants Management Model Programme (OMM), today 27 October 2022 at GaMalekana Tribal Authority just outside Burgersfort in Limpopo. The programme is meant to fast-track the potable and bulk raw water infrastructure with a view of ensuring that nearby communities and the surrounding mining, agriculture and other companies in Sekhukhune District, Polokwane and Mogalakwena Local Municipalities are supplied with adequate water by 2030. Delivering his keynote address during the launch, Minister Mchunu indicated that this project is a huge milestone in our democracy, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. “This is a very good example of collective efforts, it is a three-dimensional partnership between government, private sector and more importantly the people of this area. This is a huge investment to the current and future generations, and it needs to be maintained,” Minister Mchunu stated. The programme, which is a collaboration between the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Lebalelo Water Users Association (LWUA) epitomises the effectiveness of public-private partnership where there is a willingness to do so and will certainly go a long way in as far as addressing challenges in the water and sanitation sector is concerned.
Both DWS and LWUA consider reliable access to good, safe water as essential to life, nature, and economic growth, hence it is important to embark on water access projects that help bring safe, clean drinking water to communities in need.The project scope amongst others includes enabling water supply to Mogalakwena by moving a portion of the Lebalelo scheme’s current supply from Flag Boshielo Dam to De Hoop Dam and developing reticulation and related infrastructure to benefit a total of 134 villages. The estimated cost of the programme is R24 billion and will be funded on 50:50 contribution principle between government and the commercial users through the Lebalelo Water Users Association. These include African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American Platinum, Assore, Corridor Resources, Cheetah Chrome, Glencore-Merafe, Implats, Ivanplats, Northam, Tameng and other industrial users. Furthermore, this programme will address pressing water needs to approximately 380 000 people in the defined areas in the Limpopo province will be able to create 42 000 jobs. The operative word during the project launch by DWS and Lebalelo was partnership, and both parties concur that this will amongst others unlock the strategic mineral and industrial potential in the region and more importantly it will provide a range of benefits such as much-needed water security, job creation and socio-economic development.