In response to a parliamentary question from the DA, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has revealed how endless delays in the construction of the Clanwilliam Damwall are preventing the creation of 15,000 new jobs.
“The construction of the dam wall, which should have been completed in 2018, is yet another sign of mismanagement, inefficiency and possible corruption by the ANC government,” says Andricus van der Westhuizen, the DA’s Western Cape spokesperson on agriculture, environmental affairs and development planning.
The national department of water and sanitation has indicated that the project will probably be completed in 2028.
“The new jobs will stem from the 5,874 hectares of new irrigated farms that will be developed with the increased water supply.”
The new irrigation will also contribute to:
- the development of secondary irrigation scheme infrastructure of R2.071 billion;
- crop production: average gross domestic product increase of R2.974 billion per year (2018 prices);
- farming operations will create around R4.894 billion in new capital annually;
- wages paid amount to approximately R2.131 billion per year (2018 prices); and
- taxes to the fiscus will increase by approximately R766 million per year.
Current irrigated farms will also enjoy greater water security and this will lead to:
- A total average GDP increase of R601 million per year;
- increased job security for 4,611 jobs;
- average increase in household income of R650 million per year;
- taxes to the fiscus will amount to approximately R171 million per year; and
- the average annual stabilization impact of the increase in the balance of payments is R328 million.
“It is completely unacceptable that the national government has wasted so much time to complete a project that can have such a positive impact on the area around the Clanwilliamdam. Unemployment is a national crisis and if the ANC does not regard the Clanwilliam Dam as a priority, it certainly does not see how 15,000 jobs can make a huge difference in the provincial economy or in the lives of 15,000 households.”
Van der Westhuizen says the DA will continue to put pressure on the national government to complete the construction quickly. “We cannot wait another five years for jobs that are urgently needed now.”
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