Repair works and installation of equipment on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) tunnel has been completed. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) made the announcement and said that the completion paves way the way for the transfer of water from Lesotho in December.
The tunnel was shut down for purposes of inspection and maintenance from October and will continue until 30 November 2019. During this period, the tunnel was drained and no water transfers to the Vaal River System is possible.
Lesotho Highlands Water Project
The project which happens to be a joint venture between SA and Lesotho will not only supply water to Gauteng but also generate work in the thousands for the people living around the areas.
The first phase was initiated thirty years ago, with water and electricity supply to South Africa and Lesotho respectively from the Katse and Mohale dams. The second phase will see an increase in the water supplied to South Africa from 780m – 1.37Bn cubic metres per year.
Moreover, Lesotho will get a hydropower project which will serve the purpose of making it self- sustainable in electricity. Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority manages the project for SA. The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority manages it for Lesotho.
Funding for the project, was sourced from new JSE-listed bonds as well as the tariff levied on users of the water and a levy on the mining industry to fix acid mine drainage. The Projected date of completion has been set to 2024