Statement on implementation of the short-term emergency works regarding acid mine drainage on the Witwatersrand
16 Oct 2012Following the directive by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, dated 6 April 2011 to the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), the TCTA has been enjoined to take its mandate to the next level. This the TCTA will do by embarking on the short-term emergency works within their plans.
The TCTA and the Department of Water Affairs (DWA/the department) in June engaged in a process to look at ways of implementing this short-term intervention including the possibility of deferring the Eastern and Western Basins. Through this engagement and including the National Treasury, DWA had to reprioritise in order to free some funding to make this implementation a reality.
An additional amount of R153 million has been secured for this year, resulting in sufficient funding for the 2012/13 financial year. Further engagement with National Treasury will go on to look at securing further funding through the next Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) process.
The implementation of this short-term emergency works implies that the TCTA is authorised to finalise the awarding of the contract for the construction of the Central Basin, a separate contract for the Western and Eastern Basins as well as. the immediate intervention in the Western Basin. Within this process TCTA will have to follow stringent conditions. These are:
The TCTA has been further authorised to conclude and sign the necessary agreements with the relevant mining houses as indicated to the department.
- The operation of the immediate solution in the Western Basin must continue and the TCTA must investigate the upgrade of additional treatment compartments of the refurbished Rand Uranium acid mine drainage (AMD) neutralisation plant to ensure that a maximal sustainable yield is attained.
- As an alternative to the proposed construction of the short-term solution in the Western Basin, the TCTA must investigate the viability of commissioning clarifiers, new pipelines and pumps for operation in conjunction with the refurbished Rand Uranium AMD neutralisation plant.
- The department will take all necessary steps to ensure that sufficient budgetary provision is available to meet TCTA’s contractual obligations. In the event that alternative solutions are not timeously obtained for the Western and Eastern Basins, the department may, under separate cover, approve the award of contracts for the construction of the short-term solution in these Basins once sufficient budgetary provision has been secured.
In order for the TCTA to proceed, the Minister has declared the immediate and short term interventions of the Witwatersrand AMD mitigation project as an emergency government waterworks in terms of Section 110 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998).
Cell: 082 874 2942
Issued by: Department of Water Affairs
16 Oct 2012
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