South Africa’s massive $1.5 billion water supply infrastructure project

infrastruktury wodnej

Large mining companies such as Glencore and Anglo American Platinum are working with the South African government on a water supply project. This water infrastructure project was planned at $1.5 billion. It aims to provide drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people and supply large platinum and chrome mining facilities. The plan, overseen by the Lebalelo Water Users Association, includes the construction of an approx. 170 km of water pipeline in Limpopo province and is expected to be completed by 2030. The mining companies involved are expected to secure half of the financing by the end of this year, with the rest coming from municipalities and the South African government. The project is part of the country’s government’s drive to improve its dilapidated water infrastructure.

South African water infrastructure rehabilitation project

South Africa’s water demand in 2030 is projected. will exceed supply by 17%. The country continues to develop, but does so inefficiently, exacerbating resource supply problems, among other things. in water. It suffers from shortages, as it receives less than half of the world’s average rainfall. No single entity can meet these challenges alone, but much can be achieved if water users work together to find common solutions and implement strategies, policies, projects, plans and programs.

Joining forces between the South African government and significant players in the market – including. with Glencore, which is a global coal and metals mining and trading company and operates a chrome smelter in South Africa, and Anglo Platinum, a subsidiary of Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum producer – an initiative that represents a significant departure from the traditional approach used in South Africa. Until now, the state has been in charge of water infrastructure projects. After years of neglect and mismanagement, the government is seeking resources and operational support in various sectors, including energy, rail routes and water facilities. This public-private partnership signals a new era of cooperation in South Africa, where neglected infrastructure is being rehabilitated through private investment and government support.

The water supply project is one of the South African government’s initiatives to improve the country’s dilapidated water infrastructure. The State Development Bank of Southern Africa has additionally established a separate $1.4 billion fund to finance water reuse projects through private investors. Cooperation is also underway between Dutch and Spanish state-owned companies and their South African counterparts to finance construction projects in the country.

Project from Lebalelo Water Users Association

The massive water supply project, led by the Lebalelo Water User Association (LWUA), is expected to have 400 kilometers of pipelines that will supply 250 million liters of water per day, or about1/3 of theconsumption of Cape Town, which has a population of more than 4 million. The project will be implemented in phases, with the first phase of construction expected to begin as early as 2024. The work will include the construction of pipelines, pumping stations, wastewater treatment plants and photovoltaic power plants with battery energy storage. Some time ago, the process of selecting contractors for pipelines and cleanup work began.

LWUA also plans to supply water to residents of Polokwane and Mookgophong (a town north of Johannesburg). Lebalelo’s 16 members also include Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Northam Platinum Ltd. as well as the Department of Water and Sanitation, Sekhukhune District Municipality and Mogalakwena Local Municipality.

Project from LWUA an opportunity for change

According to Bertus Bierman, CEO of the LWUA, companies involved in the water pipeline project are in financing talks with about 10 local and international banks. “This could be an opportunity to introduce a new model for managing infrastructure projects in South Africa, where the government acts as a regulator and private actors, in partnership with government institutions, do more of the work on the ground,” Bierman said.

The CEO also announced that if the LWUA plan succeeds, the model could be replicated in other parts of the country. Some of the companies involved in the Lebalelo project are also beginning discussions on an initiative leading to community and mine power generation.

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