THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) on Tuesday announced business opportunities, which are open to local companies in Phase Two of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).
The authority made the announcement at a meeting held in Maseru and facilitated by Standard Lesotho Bank.
According to Standard Lesotho Bank Marketing Manager, Public Relations, Communications and Sponsorship, Manyathela Kheleli, the meeting sought to introduce the two parties, while also presenting the financial institution with an opportunity to report on its preparedness to offer funding.
“We asked the LHDA to make the presentation to see how businesses will benefit from the upcoming Phase II of the water project.
“The idea was for us (Standard Lesotho Bank) and the businesspeople to hear, first-hand, what the plan has in store for everyone,” Mr Kheleli said.
He further said the bank would give financial assistance to businesses that may need it to execute their contracted tasks.
“We have been involved in the Phase I of the project; we don’t want the second phase to be any different
“. We would also want to appeal that the procurement be in such a way that Lesotho and South Africa businesses benefit equally,” he said.
Mr Kheleli further said a lot of spinoff jobs in construction were anticipated, where companies would be contracted to undertake infrastructural projects such as roads, buildings at the construction sites and relocations.
Mr Kheleli also said over the next year or two, Standard Lesotho Bank would be ready to give the needed financial assistance to businesses.
The LHDA is the implementing agency of the LHWP, which is a multiphase project established by a 1986 treaty between Lesotho and South Africa. The project involves the construction of dams and tunnels in the two neighbouring nations, and the generation of hydro-electric power in Lesotho.
South Africa seeks to augment its water-supply for both domestic and industrial use through the project, while Lesotho expects to benefit from infrastructure such as roads, as well as royalties and electricity, from the initiative.
Phase One of the LHWP, consisting of the construction of Katse and Mohale dams, Muela hydropower station and associated tunnels, was inaugurated in 2004, with Phase Two processes initiated in 2010.
Phase Two of the project would, among others, see Polihali Dam being constructed at the confluence of Khubelu and Senqu rivers in Mokhotlong beginning 2017, with the project earmarked for completion in 2022.