News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
1 minute read
19 Oct 2018
6:30 am

Water woes threaten R150bn investments in Limpopo

Alex Japho Matlala

The premier has declared war on illegal connections and waterworks theft to ensure the survival of planned special economic zones.

Travelling long distances to collect water may remain a necessity for the residents of Giyani for some time, due to a protracted payment dispute between the department and the contractor, 11 October 2018. Picture: Alex Matlala

The protracted chronic water shortages in parts of Limpopo province have the potential to derail planned economic investment projects to the tune of R150 billion.

Yesterday, Premier Stanley Mathabatha told 25 local and district municipalities from the province’s five districts that it was time to declare war on illegal connections and theft of water infrastructure in an effort to save water for the survival of the so-called special economic zones in Musina, Makhado and other municipalities.

Mathabatha was speaking during a Water Summit in Bela-Bela.

“You will be aware that our Musina-Makhado special economic zone (SEZ) is expected to revitalise Limpopo’s industrial economy,” he said.

“This will be done by utilising our local mineral resources and integrating the industrial chains of both the upstream and downstream.”

Mathabatha said within the SEZ, several plants, such as a coal washery, a coal-fired power plant, coking plant, stainless steel plant and high-carbon ferrochrome plant were expected to be constructed.

He said supporting administrative services such as houses, hotels, healthcare facilities and schools were also expected to be constructed within the SEZ projects.

In July this year, the premier led a delegation to China in an endeavour to seal economic investment deals to expand the Musina-Makhado SEZ. That came on the heels of the visit by the department of trade and industry to Beijing in April.

alexm@citizen.co.za

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