African water project secures funds

Published: May 26, 2011

EIB leads development banks in supporting Mooi-Mgeni.

Three European development organisations have joined an African development bank to provide €225mn in loans to support a water project in South Africa that will benefit more than 6mn people.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Agency for Development and Germany’s KfW Entwicklungsbank have joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to co-finance the Mooi-Mgeni water supply project.

The project will provide water to the 6.3mn people living in the municipalities of Ethekwini, uMgungundlovu and uMsunduzi in KwaZulu-Natal.

The EIB contributed €80mn to the Mooi-Mgeni project, while the French Agency for Development lent €70mn alongside €45mn provided by KfW. DBSA invested €25mn.

Access to clean water is a priority for South Africa’s government. The project will be managed by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, a state-owned water management body responsible for bulk raw water implementation in the country.

The project includes the construction of the Spring Grove Dam on the Mooi River at Rosetta in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and a conveyance system to transfer water to the Mgeni River catchment. The project will provide an extra 60mn cubic meters a year to address water delivery backlogs.

Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB’s vice-president for Africa, said improving the water supply in South Africa is a priority for the bank.

T.P. Nchocho, DBSA group executive, added that this financial commitment is part of the bank’s mandate to assist the continent’s infrastructure expansion and rehabilitation. “This contribution will go a long way in ensuring that millions of South Africans have access to clean water.”