Construction of the Tsomo Ngqamakhwe bulk water pipeline in the Eastern Cape is set to commence, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation. The pipeline is one of the water projects to be undertaken by the department this financial year and it is set to improve water supply to Ngqamakhwe, Butterworth and surrounding areas.

Project designs have been completed and the project engineer is on site whilst awaiting the Department of Labour to satisfy itself with all the necessary requirements needed before the commencement of any construction work.

“Upon completion of the work by the Department of Labour, the project site will be established. The department is satisfied with the preparatory work done so far and it is confident that the ball will get rolling as soon as all the consultative work has been completed,” it said in a statement on Friday, 7 August.

To date, a site for building a reservoir has been identified, so has the road crossing and the route for village crossing. The location where a pump station will be built has been identified and the area where the pipe will traverse along the slopes to the village has been identified.

The department has also started engagements with local project teams as well as with the social facilitation and engineering teams.

Phase 1 of the project, which consists of the construction of a pump station, reservoirs and a pipeline from Tsomo Water Treatment Works to Ngqamakhwe, is expected to cost approximately R481m. Phase 2 consists of the construction of a bulk water pipeline from Ngqamakhwe to a reservoir and the last phase will be the construction of another bulk water pipeline from the command reservoir to a water treatment works in Butterworth.