A temporary steel structure has been erected to stem water losses at a severed section of the canal which transports water from the Clanwilliam Dam to farms.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Department of Agriculture visited the site on Friday (20 January 2017).
“The section of the canal broke due to an electronic malfunctioning of the telemetry system which controls the water level in the canal. This resulted in an overflow at the concrete canal section which washed away the soil supporting the canal lining. A temporary steel structure was installed to replace the broken canal lining. This temporary structure will be replaced by concrete lining during the annual maintenance period in winter. The water supply to about 45 000 residents and 15 000 hectares of irrigation was disrupted from Tuesday evening to Saturday evening, although the water only reached the lower end of the canal system yesterday, due to the distance the water had to be carried in the canal system.”
Under the National Water Act, the Lower Olifants River Water Users Association is responsible for the maintenance and management of the infrastructure.
Minister Winde commended the association for their efforts to resolve the matter.
“LORWUA and the contractor they appointed, Namakwa Engineering, took swift action under a high-pressure situation. They worked tirelessly, 24-hours a day, until the water supply was restored.
“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is halfway through a R4 million proactive maintenance plan on the Clanwilliam dam canal system. Three specific stretches of canal were identified as critical due to the aging of the infrastructure, with some being more than 80 years old. Pro-active maintenance is being carried out on these sections over a three year period. Due to prompt action, the economic impact of the damage was lessened, and we’ve been able to avoid any serious loss of revenue or jobs, or damage to crops,” said Minister Winde.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town