Water A water equity scheme is under discussion.
he right to use water in a water-scarce area can often be a contentious issue. An analysis of Water Equity Schemes is underway to establish whether or not they are working to the benefit of intended beneficiaries. It is thought that if the scheme is correctly applied, more than 3 000ha of land currently lying fallow could be brought into production for food security and for the cultivation of high-value crops. One of the major private suppliers of water in the province is Sedibeng Water. Sedibeng Water’s Central Laboratory, based at Balkfontein near Bothaville, is accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). A new laboratory has been built to monitor the quality of water at the revamped Vaal Gamagara scheme. The laboratory’s four sections cover Instrumentation, Wet Chemistry, Sewage and Microbiology.
The Eye of Kuruman Six municipalities have been identified for the eradication of informal settlements. A major obstacle in the municipalities of Sol Plaatje, Phokwane, Tsantsabane, Dawid Kruiper, Gamagara and Ga-Segonyana is the lack of bulk water and sanitation facilities. Ring-fenced funding in terms of the Division of Revenue Act has been approved. Two of South Africa’s great rivers meet in the Northern Cape at a point south-west of Kimberley. After absorbing the Vaal River, the Orange River continues westwards to the Atlantic Ocean and provides the basis for agriculture all along its path.
Online Resources National Department of Water and Sanitation: www.dwa.gov.za South African Association of Water Utilities: www.saawu.org.za Water Institute of South Africa: www.wisa.org.za Water Research Commission: www.wrc.org.za
Sector Insight The Vaal-Harts irrigation system supports intensive agriculture. North of Kimberley, the confluence of the Vaal and the Harts rivers encompasses one of South Africa’s most intensely irrigated areas. The Vaal-Harts irrigation system is one of the most productive in the country, covering about 38 000 hectares with a variety of crops. Various water users’ associations (WUAs) representing particular areas (such as the Vaal-Harts) are recognised by the national water authority. Two of South Africa’s biggest dams, the Gariep and Vanderkloof, also provide water for irrigation and hydro-electric power. Many parts of the province are dry with sections of the north and northwest classified as semi-arid and arid. The southern Kalahari Desert receives rain but the fact that mining is a primary economic activity in the dry regions of the province presents many challenges. The town of Kuruman is an exception in that it has a natural and prolific spring, the Eye of Kuruman. Engineering group ELB Group has been appointed by Vedanta Zinc International to do a wide range of jobs at its new Gamsberg project. This includes laying a water pipe from the Orange River to the mining company’s processing plant. ■ NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020/21