The construction of the Clanwilliam Dam in the Cederberg district can create more than 4 000 job opportunities, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation.
In a statement on Friday, the department said: “A new-look Clanwilliam Dam is envisaged to create 4 480 jobs initially. The engineers have extrapolated that the Clanwilliam Dam project would bring about 3,800 permanent jobs when completed and another further 680 temporary jobs during construction.”
On Monday, Water and Sanitation minister Gugile Nkwinti and the Western Cape Premier Helen Zille launched the government project of raising the wall of the dam by 13 metres so it could harvest more water to cater for the people of the region.
The launch happened five months after Nkwinti’s promise earlier this year to undertake the Clanwilliam Dam improvement project within five months.
The department said it suffered negative publicity because the Clanwilliam Dam project has been delayed for a number of years.
Nkwinti in March told a meeting of the national, provincial and local government leaders during a visit to the site that he intended to introduce new policies and a new work regime in the department to ensure projects were undertaken on time in order to socially and economically benefit communities.
“His philosophy is that members of the communities where government infrastructure projects are situated should benefit, in terms of jobs and businesses."
The department said it would spend R175 million on the Clanwilliam Dam project this financial year. Nkwinti had budgeted R300 million to complete the project.
“Nkwinti’s vision is to cut costs and reduce the timespan for the completion of department infrastructure projects. His new policy directives thus save the department from the laborious, costly tender system that takes months and years to come to fruition,” said the department, further adding “that the new system also obviates court battles and litigation by disgruntled bidders who might have lost during the tender process”.
It is estimated that the Clanwilliam Dam project would be finished in four years.
African News Agency (ANA)