According to SAnews.gov.za Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will today launch the Vaal Gamagara Water Supply Scheme in the Northern Cape.
The scheme is expected to meet water demand up to the year 2030.
The R18bn water project includes the refurbishment of the existing Vaal Gamagara Water Treatment Plant near Delpoortshoop, the upgrade of pump stations and the construction of a 430-km long pipeline to run from Delpoortshoop to Black Rock.
The Department of Water and Sanitation said the upgrade was necessitated by the need to address ageing infrastructure and secure supply for the mining boom, especially in the John Taolo Gaetsewe locality.
“Growing agricultural water demands will also be addressed by this project now and in the future,” the department said.
The project also includes equipping three borehole sites located in Danielskuil, Groenwater and Hotazel to augment water supplied from the Vaal River.
The Vaal Gamagara water scheme is critical to ensure the continued sustainability of iron ore and manganese mining operations between Kathu and Hotazel, while also ensuring water supply to over 22 villages.
The six municipalities of Dikgatlong, Kgatelopele, Tsantsabane, Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana and Joe Morolong will also benefit from the bulk water supply.
During the launch, Minister Mokonyane, together with Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, are also expected to officially open the Vaal Gamagara Quality Control Laboratory, which will be the first South African National Standards-accredited lab in the province.
The lab, which was completed in April 2016, will extend its services to hospitals, mines and municipalities in the Northern Cape.
The department said one of the biggest contributing factors to the failure of municipalities in the Northern Cape to meet the Blue Drop/Green Drop certification standards is the absence of an accredited quality control laboratory to help municipalities identify and address water quality and wastewater effluent issues.
“The Sedibeng Water Board has already appointed suitably qualified and competent laboratory staff at the facility... The validation of the first five testing methods which are pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, heterotrophic plate counts and total coli forms/E coli has also commenced,” the department said.