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LHDA awards two massive Polihali contracts

Bereng Mpaki

THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has awarded two tenders for the construction of access roads as part of the advance infrastructure ahead of the Polihali Dam construction. Construction of the Polihali Dam is expected to begin next year.

In a recent statement to the Sunday Express, the LHDA said the two roads were awarded to the HSPY joint venture and the Rumdel/AC joint venture to upgrade the Polihali Western Access Road (PWAR) West and the Polihali Western Access Road (PWAR) East roads to bitumen standard respectively.

“Construction works for PWAR West commenced on 12 July 2019 and are expected to be completed by 11 June 2021. The PWAR East works commenced on 23 July 2019 and are expected to be completed by 22 June 2021. The contract value of PWAR West amounts to M410m and PWAR East amounts to M562m,” the LHDA said in a statement.

The HSPY joint venture is made up of Hillary Construction (Pty) Ltd, Polokwane Surfacing (Pty) Ltd, Ya Rena Civils (Pty) Ltd (all South African companies) and Lesotho-based Structuretone Construction (Pty) Ltd.

The Rumdel/AC joint venture comprises of Rumdel Construction (Pty) Ltd (South Africa) and A&C Holdings (Pty) Ltd (Lesotho).

The LHDA is the implementing authority of the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP II).

The LHWP is a multi-phased project to provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. It was established by the 1986 Treaty signed by the governments of Lesotho and South Africa.

The project entails harnessing the waters of the Senqu/Orange River in the Lesotho highlands through the construction of a series of dams for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Phase I of the LHWP, consisting of the Katse and Mohale dams, the ‘Muela hydropower station and associated tunnels was completed in 2003 and inaugurated in 2004. Phase II of the LHWP is currently in progress. It consists of two separate but related components: water transfer and hydropower generation.

The bilateral project which is estimated to cost at least M23 billion, is expected to provide about 3 000 jobs at the peak of its operations.

The water transfer component of Phase II comprises an approximately 165m high concrete faced rock fill Dam at Polihali downstream of the confluence of the Khubelu and Senqu (Orange) Rivers and an approximately 38km long concrete-lined gravity tunnel connecting the Polihali reservoir to the Katse reservoir.

Other Phase II activities include advance infrastructure (roads, accommodation, power lines and telecommunication) and the implementation of environmental and social mitigation measures.

Construction of the advance infrastructure works commenced in February this year.

Commenting on the latest award of the two tenders, the Acting Chief Executive of LHDA, Tente Tente, said the roads would spur sustainable economic growth through tourism and industrial development in the country.

“The quality roads constructed under LHWP II will not only provide access to the Polihali Dam construction site but will also significantly influence sustainable economic growth through tourism and industrial development,” Mr Tente said.

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