LHWP construction tenders ready to be advertised

13 June 2017

The Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC) has embarked on a countrywide roadshow to update the construction industry and other stakeholders on the implementation of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), highlighting challenges facing the project, the scope of work ahead under Phase 2, and the expected duration of the programme.

Addressing delegates at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday, LHWP Phase 2 divisional manager Tente Tente noted that the project was ready to advertise tenders for Phase 2 construction contracts.

Tente encouraged small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) tendering for this next phase to partner with bigger companies or form joint ventures, so that skills and technology transfer can take place.

He added that the LHWC was under strict mandate to ensure that there are equal opportunities for Lesotho and South African nationals in implementing Phase 2.  

Construction on the LHWP is set to begin next year. There are currently 20 construction contracts.

Tente stated that most of the advanced infrastructure work would be procured in the first half of next year so that it could be completed in 2019.

Pointing out that the LHWP had two major components, namely a water transfer and hydro-power component, Tente explained that the Lesotho government was responsible for funding hydropower and that South Africa was responsible for the water transfer component, which was slightly ahead of schedule.

“Since the official launch of Phase 2 in 2013, the main focus has been on the procurement of consultants to design the advanced infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges, accommo-dation, power and tele communications networks, as well as designing the major works – the Polihali dam and the [Polhihali-Katse] tunnel.”  

Tente added that the consultants would also supervise the construction of the designed structures on the engineering side. “We are also procuring consultants on the design and implementation of the social environmental programmes,” Tente said.

The R22.9-billion Phase 2 of the LHWP will be implemented in terms of two distinct components: a water delivery system to augment the delivery of water to South Africa and a hydropower generation system, including the Polihali dam and the Polhihali-Katse tunnel.

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