Press Release

South Africa will invest $1.5 billion in water infrastructure

2023-7-18 15:12:45

Water conservancy projects are related to people's basic livelihood security, and project investment has accelerated. Major mining companies such as Glencore and Anglo American Platinum are working with the South African government on a 27 billion rand water project to supply drinking water to major platinum and chromium operations and provide drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people, according to a government website. The project spans about 170 kilometers across Limpopo province and is expected to be completed by 2030. The mining companies involved are trying to secure half of the financing by the end of the year, with the rest coming from municipalities and the South African government.

The plan is unprecedented in South Africa, where almost all water infrastructure, especially a project of this scale, is state-led. Now, after years of neglect and mismanagement, the government is seeking investment in infrastructure and help with operations from power plants to railways and water facilities.

The project is just one of the South African government's initiatives to improve the country's dilapidated water infrastructure. The state-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa is setting up a separate $1.4 billion fund that will include private investors to finance water reuse projects. Dutch and Spanish state-owned companies are working with their South African counterparts to finance construction in the country.

Bierman said that if the association's plan is successful, the model could be replicated elsewhere in the country. Some of the companies involved in the Lebalelo project are beginning discussions on a similar energy project to generate electricity for mines and communities at a cost of about R40 billion, he said.