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Construction of SA dam gets green light

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Minister Mchunu was accompanied by the Executive Mayor of Harry Gwala, the Executive Mayor Greater Kokstad municipality, DWS DDG Dr Risimati Mathye, Chairperson of UMngeni uThukela Water Board, CE and the Executive Members of UMngeni uThukela Water Board and many local and provincial dignitaries during a visit to the construction site.

Construction of SA dam gets green light   

It is all systems go for the construction phase of the Kempsdale dam wall in SA.   

Last week, South Africa’s Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu inaugurated a new dam construction project in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.  

Mchunu initiated the construction phase of the raising of Kempsdale Dam wall and construction of a pump station, during a visit to the Harry Gwala District Municipality.

This forms part of the Greater Kokstad Water Supply Scheme (GKWSS). The project addresses the inadequate supply of water to ensure a sustainable and reliable water supply for the town of Kokstad and its surrounding areas, namely, Bhongweni and Shayamoya.

Zimile Consulting Engineers (ZCE) was appointed in March 2020 to provide professional engineering consulting services for the project, located in the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality (GKLM) within the Harry Gwala District Municipality.

It lies on the south-west tip of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and is bordered by the Matatiele local municipality on the west, Lesotho, and part of the Eastern Cape on the north-west.

Scope of the project  

The scope of Zimile’s involvement includes design and construction supervision services for the raising of Kempsdale dam wall and construction of the pumpstation.

Their brief includes the facilitation of all relevant investigations, all legislative requirements and preparation of tender documentation.

The project has now successfully advanced to the construction stage, where ZCE will provide level 3 construction supervision and contract administration for the duration of the construction. The project will directly benefit approximately 69 146 people or 11 521 households by the year 2030.

Deleana Naidoo, Water Technologist at ZCE explained that the construction of Kempsdale dam wall and pumpstation is one of Zimile’s larger projects for this specific municipality in KZN and builds on the firm’s commitment to enthuse engineering while developing aspiring young engineers by exposing them to various and often complex stages in a project.

Challenges in the process

“The raising of dam wall was not without its challenges which included obtaining permission from surrounding landowners; raising the dam wall means that the dam’s flood lines would further encroach into potentially productive land areas.”

“The processes of obtaining the statutory authorisations proved to be challenging. There were various requirements from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) to be fulfilled. Close cooperation with the Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) resolved all enquiries and the statutory requirements were met.

“The processes for the environmental authorisation commenced in 2020 followed by the application for water use license in 2021, with both only being authorised by 2022. The local municipality assisted to fast track these processes and minimise delays” she said.

“Apart from the securing present and future water availability for the people and businesses of Kokstad and the surrounding areas, this project has provided key exposure for Zimile’s young engineers. The project included critical engineering tasks that form part of the eleven outcomes required for professional registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa,” explained Deleana.

Construction of SA dam gets green light   


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 Construction of SA dam gets green light   


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