6 700 construction jobs a year from Mzimvubu Water Project

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

Approximately 6 700 jobs a year will be created during the construction period of the Mzimvubu Water Project.

The Scoping Report on the project, submitted as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) says that it is predicted that farms in the Tsolo area could create 3 375 permanent jobs and up to 1 350 seasonal jobs.

“The increase in economic activity during construction and operation will create SMME opportunities and provide an economic stimulus for the region.”

The Scoping Report suggest that there will also be some negative impacts, one of which is that some households will have to be relocated to make way for the proposed infrastructure.

In addition, there will be a loss of land, with large expanses inundated by the dam which may result in “a decrease in agriculture on neighbouring properties”.

The Basic Information Document on the project points out that the Mzimvubu River is “the largest undeveloped water resource in South Africa”.

It adds that the benefits to be derived from the use of this river “are potentially of national importance!.

“The Mzimvubu River catchment is within one of the poorest and least developed regions of the country. Develop-ment of the area to accelerate social and economic upliftment of the people has therefore been identified as one of the priority initiatives of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government.

“Harnessing the water resources of the Mzimvubu River, the only major river in the country, which is still largely unutilised, is considered by government as offering one of the best opportunities for development.

The documentation says it is proposed that the Ntabelanga Dam that forms part of the project will supply potable water to approximately 539 000 people “rising to 726 000 by the year 2050”.

They are spread over three district municipalities.

It points out that the feasibility study for the project “has identified 2 868 hec-tares of high potential land suitable for irrigated agriculture.

“About 2 450 hectares of the land lies in the Tsolo area and the rest near the dam and along the river”. -GetNews