South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has confirmed that construction works on the US $828m Mokolo-Crocodile Water Augmentation Project Phase 2A will not commence due to an appeal launched back in April by Earthlife Africa and groundwork, against the environmental impact assessment (EIA) authorization issued in December 2018 by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Earthlife Africa and groundwork called on the Minister to review and set aside the authorization of the project, owing to environmental impacts the project will bring including the impact it will have on the climate.
Effect of the appeal on the project
In June this year, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) announced it had started the implementation of the project which is designed to transfer water to support energy and mining activities in Limpopo province including Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired power station.
However, according to DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, a project cannot continue when there’s an appeal against an EIA authorization. “This, however, does not prohibit any organization against continuing its preparatory works in anticipation of the project.The project is currently at the preparation stage with documentation and tender-design having commenced,” he added.
Mokolo-Crocodile Water Augmentation Project
The project which is expected to significantly increase the supply of water to the Lephalale area which is currently facing a water shortage, involves the transfer of water from Crocodile river to Steenbokpan and Lephalale areas and also implementation of tributaries.
Its main components include a pump station, 160km pipeline, an abstraction weir, and bulk raw water infrastructure in order to meet future and existing demand over a 20 year period.
The TCTA will be in charge of procurement while the GBN JV consisting of Nyeleti Consulting, Gibb and Bigen Africa Services will be the project’s professional service provider in charge of design, construction, and supervision.
TCTA is also mandated to approach the financial market for funding of 89% of the project.