R20bn project to create work in Eastern Cape

Economic affairs' MEC Oscar Mabuyane.
Economic affairs' MEC Oscar Mabuyane.
Image: Michael Pinyane

The R20bn Umzimvubu project which will create hundreds of jobs in the Eastern Cape will start in earnest later this month.

Economic affairs MEC Oscar Mabuyane made the announcement on Sunday. He said: "More work would be done in the new financial year [which starts in April]."

He said the project, along with the oil refinery project dubbed Umthombo, as well as the construction of the N2 Wild Coast road, were key to unlocking "great economic opportunities for the people of this province this year".

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his presentation of the ANC's election manifesto in Durban on Saturday, made an undertaking that the water catchment project would be rolled out in earnest in the term of office which will start after the May general election .

"We are aware that as early as this month, preliminary work will be done in Umzimvubu.

"We are expecting that in the new financial year more developments will really take off. There is commitment that work will be started as early as later this month," said Mabuyane in an interview with Sowetan's sister publication the Dispatch.

The project is under the control of the national department of water and sanitation and entails the construction of two multipurpose dams - Ntabelanga and Laleni - on the Tsitsa River, a tributary of the Umzimvubu.

The project will supply irrigation water for agriculture, water for homes and industry and hydro-electric power in the catchment areas. The smaller dam at Tsitsa Falls will supply the hydro power.

It is estimated that more than 6,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

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