Hope for Gwayi-Shangani Dam
SA consortium interested in completing project
A CONSORTIUM of South African investors has expressed interest in completing the construction of Gwayi-Shangani Dam which has remained in limbo for years due to lack of funding.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko met the prospective contractors on a visit to the dam site in Gwayi yesterday.
VP Mphoko said the project was critical to the Matabeleland region and the country as a whole as it would create a greenbelt as well as feed into Bulawayo’s industrial growth.
“Last time I came here I was very disappointed because nothing had happened. As I inquired, what I was told is a long story while the Zimbabwe National Water Authority has its own approach,” he said.
VP Mphoko said Government was committed to making sure the project is completed.
“The history of this dam dates back to 1912 but nothing has happened to date. There was a trial by Malaysians and they failed. Then came the Chinese and nothing happened and they are still on the ground. Dams all over the country have come up yet this one is in limbo.
“We are looking for investors and if you people can come on board from South Africa we really thank you because our people and animals need water,” he said.
VP Mphoko said the time for bickering was over and Government needs serious investors.
“We don’t want promises. We need water. If you are capable of doing this project we can talk about how you will recoup your money. We need this water as soon as possible,” he said.
The VP said the project would involve all players such as Zinwa.
The Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Cain Mathema, who accompanied the VP alongside senior Government officials and heads of departments, said the dam was critical in turning the province into a commercial green zone.
“There will be a need for a lot of piping and pumps to pump water all the way to Bulawayo. There will be a greenbelt with irrigation schemes as we want to turn the province into a commercial farming area.
“All the people in the province were brought to stay here by whites so they live on subsistence farming but now we want our people to be producers. We hope we will work together,” he said.
e investors Kinfedi, Hamon Pvt Ltd and Thaga Engineering, all from South Africa, are interested in the project that is currently being spearheaded by China International Water and Electric (CIWE), a company contracted by Government to construct the dam but has failed to get the ball rolling due to lack of funding.
Local consultants Mr Duke Thubelihle Ncube and Mr Darryn Nyatanga, both of GBI Ltd, identified the investors and took them to VP Mphoko’s office.
Speaking on behalf of the investors, Mr Felix Maziya, chief executive of Kinfedi, said they have Italian partners who have a commendable track record and ready to start work.
“Kinfedi is an enabler to local partners and we look into challenges the region is facing in terms of infrastructure and we are bringing in strong players who have the capacity to develop the area.
“We have Italian partners CMC who are the 3rd largest construction company in the world and have a hefty balance sheet. Our other partner is Allied International which is among the top five world piping manufacturers,” he said.
CMC di Ravenna was the main contractor in the building of Mazvikadei Dam in Mashonaland West, as well as bigger dam projects in Algeria, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
Hamon Pvt Ltd managing director Mrs Shirly Koketso said they were ready to start work.
“We have always had intentions to work in Zimbabwe as we are into power stations and construction. Duke brought us to the VP where we discussed about the project and we are prepared to work with you as we seek funding and partners,” she said.
Close to $90 million is reportedly required to complete the project, which is part of the solution to Bulawayo’s perennial water problems and robust agricultural development in the province.
The project is a major component of the longawaited National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP).
No work is being done on site as of now. — @ ncubeleon
Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Cain Mathema (third from right) shows the dam site to Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko (centre) and investors Mr Koketso Molefi, Mr Felix Maziya (partly obscured) and Hwange District Administrator Miss Nokukhanya Jubane (right)