South African Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti, Lesotho Water Minister Samonyane Ntsekele and the Lesotho High Commissioner Sello Moloto have reaffirmed their commitment to the successful implementation of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2.
Poised to secure a sustainable, independent energy supply for Lesotho to meet the country’s electricity requirements, the LHWP plays a vital role and contribution to the socioeconomic development needs of Lesotho and South Africa.
The Ministers’ statement follows Nkwinti’s two-day Ministerial visit to Lesotho last week.
On the first day, the Ministers were taken on a guided tour of the LHWP sites, during which the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority made presentations which covered updates on project implementation, as well as issues of concern and progress.
Emphasising the need to take concrete measures to bring to realisation the policy decision to ensure that contractors registered in Lesotho and South Africa equally share the monetary value of all infrastructure works, the Ministers further reaffirmed the key tenet that all procurement processes for the project should foster competitiveness, transparency, cost effectiveness and quality.
Additionally, the commitment towards the empowerment of both Lesotho contractors and previously disadvantages entities from South Africa to ensure that these can, in turn, effectively compete with multinationals, was also reaffirmed.
Underscoring the need for creating opportunities and encouraging subcontracting to smaller local contractors under lead contractors, the visit highlighted that these lead contractors will be given specific targets for mentoring and capacitating small companies to a point where these are sufficiently capacitated to effectively compete with counterparts throughout the water value chain.
Further, the need for succession planning and building capacity for sustainable operation and maintenance of the physical structures created by the project was also highlighted, whereby the Ministers have tasked officials to develop concrete programmes for capacity building and the assessment of the impact of that intervention.