20 November 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma officially launched the new R1-billion Spring Grove Dam in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal province on Tuesday.
The dam, part of the Mooi Mngeni Water Scheme, will supply water to the municipalities of eThekwini (Durban), uMgungundlovu, Msunduzi, Ugu, Sisonke and iLembe.
The South African government is leading a massive nationwide infrastructure drive involving the building and refurbishing of power stations, dams, bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, ports and airports.
Speaking at the Tuesday’s launch, Zuma said the infrastructure was “designed to help us create jobs and also to change the quality of people’s lives and boost the economy … It is an exciting programme which is changing the face of the country.”
The President has been traversing the country over the last month unveiling completed infrastructure projects, including the Grootvlei Power Station in Balfour, Mpumalanga province, the R71 and R81 roads in Limpopo province, and state company Transnet’s new fleet of automotive rail wagons.
New energy projects in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, and a progress inspection on upgrade work at Mthatha Airport, are next on Zuma’s intinerary, while the De Hoop Dam in Sekhukhune, Limpopo province is also due to be opened later this month.
Other big projects also include the building of two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, as well as 12 new Further Education and Training (FET) campuses.
Zuma said the government had worked hard over the past 19 years to bring water to all South Africans, including those living in remote areas. “We are happy that millions more South Africans now have access to clean drinking water which they did not have before 1994.”
It was important, Zuma said, to remember “that South Africa remains one of the 30 driest countries in the world.
“Even as we continue to raise the numbers of those accessing potable water, we need to remember that every drop counts. We must therefore save water. Not a drop must be wasted, not a drop must be polluted, and all infrastructure developed must be cared for. Water is Life. Let us conserve it, respect it and enjoy it.”