Question NW716 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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25 November 2020 - NW716

Profile picture: Lees, Mr RA

Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)Whether, with reference to her reply to question 34 on 13 March 2020, and given that professional consultants have been working on the project since 2012 or before and have already done most if not all the required planning and design work, the plans and designs already done for the project will be disregarded; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, why; (2) what are the details of the work to be done on the feasibility study that is currently undertaken by Umgeni Water; (3) what are the tendered costs of the feasibility study; (4) what are the reasons that the feasibility study undertaken by Umgeni Water will take 24 months to complete?


1. The consultant who undertook the Detailed Feasibility and Detailed Design of the project was appointed by uThukela District Municipality, not Umgeni Water, and had not considered whether there was sufficient resource (water) in Spioenkop Dam to support the project demands. As a result, the project could have been constructed but would not have had the raw water resource needed to supply the demand in the area. After much of the planning and detailed design had been completed, the Department of Water and Sanitation undertook a due diligence study to determine whether there would be sufficient water available in Spioenkop Dam to support the scheme. When it became apparent that there would not be sufficient resource available the project was discontinued in the planned format

(2) Umgeni Water has recently completed a Framework Tender process and now has a panel of consultants to draw from for planning and detailed design projects. A consultant will be appointed from this panel to undertake the Detailed Feasibility Study of the project and this appointment is likely to be made the end of 2020, after the completion of the Terms of Reference, which are currently being developed by the project team.

(3) The procurement process has not, as yet, been completed and hence it is not possible to present the expected costs of the detailed feasibility study for this project.

(4) The bulk water supply scheme to supply Ladysmith will be a large and complex project and will have to include the development of a new resource (dam) and appropriate bulk infrastructure to treat and supply the water. Large projects of this complexity take time to plan and implement and the risk of rushing or curtailing the process can have huge risk and capital consequences. The planning study would include, amongst others, an options analysis, water resource assessment for each option, water quality monitoring and assessment, process investigation, pipeline alignments, water treatment plant, pump station and reservoir positioning, land and geotech surveys, economic and financial analyses and environmental investigations. All of these studies take time to undertake and are important to fully investigate to ensure the success of the project.

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