Project to ease water blues

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

Residents from the impoverished towns and rural areas of Limpopo are to benefit from the R7,4billion mining project under way in the province.

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the mining fraternity yesterday signed an agreement to work together on projects that include the Flag Boshielo Dam and De Hoop Dam at the opening of national Sanitation and Hygiene Week, which is observed every year.

The signing ceremony in Johannesburg between the department and 23 mining organisations, comprising mining houses and their representative bodies, agreed to a partnership on projects such as Flag Boshielo Dam on the Olifants River and De Hoop Dam on the Steelpoort River.

Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Lindiwe Hendricks said the De Hoop Dam project would store flood water during the rainy season that would be conveyed in bulk to supply towns, industries and poorly serviced rural areas of Limpopo.

"Secondly, and equally important, water will be supplied by the mines in the process of unlocking vast mineral deposits, mainly in the form of the platinum group metals found in the region.

"These metals are the largest known unexploited mineral wealth in our country," Hendricks said.

The project, to be constructed over a five-year period, will benefit areas within the municipalities of Sekhukhune, Polokwane and Mogalakwena.