Following the conclusion of the successful first phase of the Integrated Biological Remediation Program at the Hartebeespoort Dam, the department of Water Affairs is to spend a further R258 million on clean-up, re-habilitation and maintenance of the Hartebeespoort Dam in the North West Province.
This amount budgeted for the 2013/14 financial year will be spent on Operation and Maintenance, fast tracking and full scale implementation and extension on the remediation program for the once heavily polluted dam.
The department also intends to conduct an independent review on the Programme as part of the requirement for further continuation. This review needs to be conducted within three months of approval to continue with Phase II which began in September 2012. The procurement to appoint the Water Research Commission as Implementing Agent to do the review is underway.
The remediation of the Dam started with the implementation of the Integrated Biological Remediation Program (known as Harties Metsi a Me) in 2008. This has led to significant improvement of the state of the dam and over- all quality of the water.
Through the programme 70 permanent workers were employed, more than 98 tons of dead fish were removed from the dam litter and debris and hyacinths. There has also been a significant improvement in the quality of the fish in the dam.
In the 2011/12 financial year, expenditure on the remediation programme was R18 447 454.28. At the moment however, the Department is engagement in procurement processes to appoint an implementing Agent for the second phase of the programme to ensure a seamless continuation of the Hartebeepoort Dam Remediation Plan. The effectiveness of current interventions is reviewed on an ongoing basis and the implementation is overseen by the Hartebeespoort Dam Inter-governmental Steering Committee.
The department remains committed to the fight against pollution and such efforts will go a long way in ensuring a more sustainable management of our water resources.