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South Africa: De Hoop Dam Brings Hope to Thousands
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 23, 2014

In the 2003 State of the Nation Address, it was announced that a dam would be constructed in the Olifants River system to unlock the rich mineral deposits in the Limpopo province.

The sod turning ceremony followed in 2007 and the construction began, leading ultimately to the completion and opening of the project.

The over R3 billion dam was built by the Department of Water Affairs to supply potable water to thousands of people in Sekhukhune District.

De Hoop Dam, which is the 13th largest dam in the country, created more than 1000 jobs.

It is one of the key projects that fall under the umbrella of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission, which was established in 2012 to coordinate and fast-track infrastructure projects, under the leadership of President Zuma.

The Dam will be used to supply water to the towns, industries and poorly serviced rural communities in Sekhukhune, Waterberg, and Capricorn Districts of the Limpopo Province.

It will also be used to supply water to the mines in order to help unlock vast mineral deposits, mainly in the form of platinum group metals found in the region. It will therefore be a catalyst for both social and economic development for this region.

Speaking at the opening of the dam on Monday at GaMalekana Sportsfield, President Zuma said the dam confirms the good story of the country -- the story of development and progress that South Africa has achieved since 1994.

“The opening of this dam is yet another contribution to that drive of building a better South Africa through improving access to basic services and socio-economic infrastructure,” President Zuma said.

20 Year Review

Early this month, the Presidency launched the 20 Year Review Document that outlines all the work that has been done to rebuild South Africa since 1994.

The Review states that millions of South Africans now have access to water, health care, education, housing and many other basic needs which they did not have before 1994.

“When we talk about this area being water stressed, we are talking about the plight of many people such as the unacceptable conditions of the people of GaMashabela near Jane Furse who struggle to access clean drinking water.

“People still have to walk through thick and thorny bushes to reach the wells of Ntsoaneng GaKgari Mountains in order to access fresh water. Some of the residents still rely on borehole water which is insufficient to meet the demand of these communities,” the President said.

He also informed the community that the pipeline from Jane Furse to Lobethal, which covers the villages of Ga-Mashabela, Diphagane, Ga-Phahla,Ga-Marishane, Tisane and Mamone, is 70% complete, while a pipeline from Mooihoek to Tubatse is 100% complete.

“The pipeline will provide water to the villages including Mandagshoek, Mashabela, Ntsoaneng, Driekop and River Cross. The bulk distribution system connected to the dam will ensure that over a period of time, all the people of this area will be served with an uninterrupted water supply, which is the ultimate goal of government.”

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said that government has launched a number of infrastructure projects throughout the country reiterating that the opening of the dam is a reality that is seen by all citizens.

“It’s a good story. A project like this is for all of us to continue to work hard and support the President in his endeavour to fight poverty in this country,” said Minister Molewa.
Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabathe said that through the opening of the dam, government has improved the lives of people in the province.

“Today is better than yesterday, we are certain that tomorrow, will be better than today,” Premier Mathabathe said.
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