SA, Lesotho agree to share LHWP contracts

Pretoria - The South African and Lesotho governments have agreed on the equitable sharing of contracts to be awarded during the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).

Speaking at the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) briefing sessions held at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Monday, Water and Sanitation Deputy Director-General Lindiwe Lusenga emphasised on the equal participation of the BaSotho and South African contractors.

Lusenga said the LHWP is committed to enhance the use of Black entrepreneurs, individual experts and smaller companies.

She encouraged smaller and bigger entities to join forces with one another to form a competent and financially efficient grouping.

To this end, the two governments have agreed on the equitable sharing of contracts to be awarded. There are in excess of 90 contracts from now until 2025. The South African consultants and contractors will share on a 50:50 basis in all the advance infrastructure works, and on a minimum of 50% in the Polihali Dam and Tunnel contracts.

In all of these contracts, Black participation, women, youth and disabled persons are guaranteed a 20% share of the South African portion. To date, up to 16 consultancy contracts have been awarded and are in force, with six contracts in evaluation and approval stages, and two contracts are at the bidding stage, said Lusenga, who was speaking on behalf of the Director-General, Dan Mashitisho.

Chief Delegate for South Africa on the LHW Commission Bheki Nkosi reiterated the need to locate the LHWP within the strategic direction as per the National Development Plan.

Nkosi also indicated the need to ensure that the project must not leave the Lesotho nationals more disadvantaged than if the project had not happened.

The LHWP is a Bi-National project between the South African and Lesotho Governments.

The Phase II of the LHWP, which is envisaged to be completed in 2025, will be implemented in two distinct systems, including a water delivery system to augment the delivery of water to South Africa and a hydro-electric power generation system.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is assisting the LHDA to conduct briefing sessions in South Africa.

The briefing sessions to be held in Johannesburg and Durban this week, target all registered Lesotho Nationals and South African construction contractors and suppliers of related services who are interested in offering construction and related services to the LHDA and its contractors during the construction of the LHWP contracts.

Part of the session includes information on lessons learnt from Phase I, the scope of Phase II, progress to date, as well as the outlook towards the future.

Source: South African Government News Agency