TCTA secures R15bn to continue building Lesotho Highlands water project

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A faucet with a water drop / Water consumption concept

The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has raised just more than R15bn in capital markets to continue construction of the Lesotho Highlands water project, the minister of water and sanitation said on Tuesday.

The state-owned TCTA needed guarantees from the Treasury before it could raise the private funding for the project, which is designed to improve water access for millions of people in Gauteng.

“So, we have the resources, we have the guarantees and now we can assure you that we will be hard at work to provide water security,” minister Lindiwe Sisulu told MPs.

In March, the TCTA said delays by the Treasury, which were due to tightening conditions for support for state-owned entities, were putting pressure on the TCTA as it looked to raise R33bn in 2021.

Years of hot weather in water-scarce SA, coupled with a lack of investment and inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, has led to increasing dependence on Lesotho to augment water supplies to SA.

The R15bn raised with allow for the completion of phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands water project, which involves the construction of a series of dams, Sisulu said.

She added that the TCTA had projects worth R68bn designed to increase water delivery across the country’s major cities.

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