Revamped Tzaneen Dam will benefit Limpopo’s agricultural sector

The Tzaneen Dam will undergo a massive revamp, the Department of Water and Sanitation has confirmed.

The latest development comes after Tzaneen received a dam safety licence on Friday to enlarge the dam. The Development Bank of Southern Africa has been appointed as the implementing agent. The project, which is expected to commence in March, is scheduled to be completed in March 2025.

The Tzaneen Dam spillway was partially demolished in 2016 to allow the new spillway configuration in the form of a labyrinth type to be constructed. So far, the demolition of the original spillway has been completed, and this accounts for 10% progress in the project.

The water utility hopes that the dam, which is located in the Mopani district municipality in Limpopo, will benefit the agricultural sector. It said it will also make water accessible for the establishment of resource-poor farmers in the irrigated agriculture sector around the area.

Upon completion, the dam will be a 53.3-metre high category three dam. A category three dam classification is the highest hazard rating by the dam safety office, considering the size and the potential for loss of life in the unlikely event of a catastrophic failure of the dam.

Wisane Mavasa, spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation, said: “The project is aimed at increasing the water supply in the greater Letaba River catchment of the Limpopo province.

“Raising the dam wall by three metres to increase the yield of the dam will address water shortages. This will then result in an increase in the gross storage capacity from 157-million to 195-million.”

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