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South Africa and Lesotho launch Phase 2 Lesotho Highlands Water Project

  • South Africa and Lesotho launch Phase 2 Lesotho Highlands Water Project

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, His Majesty King Letsie III, and Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane, launched Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on Tuesday.

The project will ensure greater water and energy security for South Africans and Basotho.

South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho share a close historic relationship whose substance today entails strengthened economic cooperation between the two countries, read a press statement released by The Presidency: Republic of South Africa..

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a partnership between South Africa and Lesotho dating back to a treaty agreed upon by the two governments to supply water to the Vaal River System, which ensures water security for Gauteng, the Free State, the Northern Cape and the North West. 

The binational infrastructure project involves the construction of a network of tunnels and the dams to transfer water from the Orange-Senqu River in the Lesotho Highlands to South Africa, and to use the water delivery system to provide hydro-electric power to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Phase 1 of the project was completed 20 years ago, in 2003.

The water transfer component of Phase 2 comprises a 165-metre-high concrete-faced rock fill dam at Polihali, downstream of the confluence of the Khubelu and Senqu (Orange) Rivers.

This development will also feature a 38-kilometre, concrete-lined gravity tunnel connecting the Polihali reservoir to the Katse reservoir. 

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