Kempsdale Dam wall expansion to ensure reliable water supply

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, is looking forward to the start of construction to raise the Kempsdale Dam Wall from four meters to 7.8 meters in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the Minister, the expansion will address the current water shortages and secure future demand for the Greater Kokstad community.

Mchunu further reiterated government’s commitment to fast-track service delivery projects, particularly those meant for the provision of adequate and consistent water supply, as water is one of the essential services and a basic human right.

The Minister was on a working visit in Kokstad, in the Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

The Executive Mayor of the District, Councillor Zamo Nxumalo joined him in conducting a sod-turning ceremony to signal the handover of the raising of Kempsdale Dam wall to the appointed contractor.

The delegations included Greater Kokstad Mayor, Councillor Lwanda Madikizela, other local mayors from the district, traditional authoriti
es, and departmental and municipal officials.

The R160 million project, which is anticipated to take three years to complete, is envisaged to boost raw water capacity in the dam to meet a projected future demand up to 2040.

The project will also ensure there is an adequate, safe, reliable, and sustainable potable water supply in areas such as Kokstad town, Kokstad C-Max prison, and Shayamoya and Bhongweni areas.

‘The development involves the raising of the existing Kempsdale Dam wall height from four meters to 7.8 meters and the construction of a new pump station downstream of the dam to be treated at the already existing 18 megalitres per day Kokstad Water Treatment Works,’ the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS explained.

The current water demand for Kokstad is 10.35 millilitres per day and is estimated to increase to 14.45 millilitres per day by 2030.

The project will benefit eight wards within the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality with uninterrupted, adequate and clean water supply upon complet
ion of the collaborative initiative between the DWS, municipalities concerned, farming communities, businesses and residents.

Speaking at the construction site during the handover, Mchunu and Nxumalo indicated that the Kempsdale Dam wall would ensure there is enough water storage which will be supplied to the communities.

‘What is happening today is a culmination of what the district has been doing with our support. there is going to be quite a substantial increase of the dam wall, it is clear that the water services here in Kokstad are working very well,’ Mchunu said.

The District Mayor echoed the Minister’s sentiments and highlighted that water supply interruptions would now be a thing of the past.

‘The project is aimed at alleviating water challenges in Greater Kokstad Local Municipality for a period of 50 to 100 years, and this will be dependent on the development of the area,’ Nxumalo stated.

The leaders also took the opportunity to engage various stakeholders and the community of Kokstad.

Mchunu a
cknowledged there were challenges. However, he reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that basic services such as water and sanitation are provided to the people and made an undertaking that the situation will improve.

Source: South African Government News Agency