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LHDA awards Polihali access road contract

Bereng Mpaki

THE Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has awarded a road construction contract to the HSP Joint Venture.

The contract is for the rehabilitation of the Northern Access Road (NAR) in the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).

The contract is valued at M284 million.

A recent statement from LHDA says the construction of the road is scheduled to start this month and is expected to be completed in less than two years.

“The NAR, also known as the A8, provides access to the Katse Dam basin between Leribe and Katse Village,” the LHDA statement said.

“The section of the road to be rehabilitated starts in the Pitseng central business district and runs for approximately 98 kilometres to Katse village. The NAR will link to the Polihali Western Access Road (PWAR) at Ha-Seshote and will provide an alternative link to the Polihali Dam basin.

“The overall objective of this project is to repair and resurface the proposed section of the NAR, implement safety upgrades and drainage works. The works will include the replacement of road joints at the three river bridges, repair of cracked sections with asphalt, repairs of side drains, upgrade of Mafika Lisiu view site, other repair works and ancillary road safety improvements.”

The joint venture comprises two South African companies namely Hillary Construction (Pty) Ltd and Polokwane Surfacing (Pty) Ltd and a Lesotho entity Structuretone Construction (Pty) Ltd.

Hillary Construction, is a Level 1 BBBEE company, specialising in roads and earthworks. It is an asphalt producer and supplier of bituminous products. Polokwane Surfacing, is 41 percent black owned. The third partner, Structuretone Construction, has undertaken construction works under different contracts in Lesotho.

“We are pleased to see the interest of local companies in the Phase II construction works,” LHDA acting chief executive officer Tente Tente.

“The expansion and upgrade of the roads network which is an integral part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project advance infrastructure works, is a prerequisite for advancing the main water transfer works. The NAR and the PWAR form the major access corridor for construction equipment, materials and tunnel boring machine components for the Polihali Dam and Transfer Tunnel. In the long run, the LHWP roads infrastructure will improve the country’s economic competitiveness,” Mr Tente added.

AECOM SA (Pty) Ltd, working with AECOM Lesotho and Lesotho- based RWB Consulting Engineers, designed the Polihali West Access Road and the Rehabilitation of NAR and will supervise the construction of both roads.

The LHDA also said the LHWP Phase II roads construction joint ventures combine civil engineering, construction and surfacing expert firms from Lesotho and South Africa.

“This is an indication that the project is steadily progressing in achieving the objectives of the Phase II Agreement of the LHWP which encourage local participation that drives socio economic changes in the region.  LHDA uses preferential procurement which maximises opportunities for nations of the two implementing countries.”

The Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of Phase I in 2003. It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho. Phase II will increase the current water supply rate of 780 million cubic metres annually incrementally to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum.

At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source for Lesotho.

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