MEC Bredell decries delay in Clanwilliam dam wall project
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Cape Town – Environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell has decried the delays in the project to raise the Clanwilliam Dam wall.
The project was initially meant to have been completed in May 2018 at a cost of R2.2 billion. At that time national government gave an assurance that the project would be completed by March 2023.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille recently visited the dam and irrigation scheme upgrade project where she found that work on the dam had not yet begun.
Bredell said there was no way the project would meet the March 2023 deadline if work had not yet begun.
“The people of the Western Cape cannot afford to wait for another drought before action is taken. A project like the Clanwilliam dam raising is critical to the Western Cape and all our communities.
“I repeat my call on the national government to urgently address the sloth-like nature of this important project,” said Bredell.
Reporting on the latest average dam levels he said dams across the province continue to record some small isolated showers and cold fronts despite being into October.
The average provincial dam level is currently at 81.7% while the latest average level for dams providing water to the City of Cape Town is 99.4%.
“We had a very good winter season and we’re grateful to see our major dams having recovered as well as they have.
“We must remind consumers that the province remains a water-scarce province and we have no long-term vision on what the next year’s rainfall might look like,” said Bredell.
Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in the Western Cape has said the province’s hydrological cycle is nearing its end and has urged all water users to use water sparingly.
DWS national spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said: “Western Cape catchments experienced significant rainfall in the year 2021.
“However the Gouritz River catchment which covers the Karoo experienced multi-year drought seasons which resulted in lower levels of water for this region.”
He said three years of decreasing water levels in that catchment area has impacted on the agricultural economy of the region through decreased irrigation water, particularly in the Little Karoo.