Key US$50m Gwayi-Shangani pipe deal sealed

THE pipeline to Bulawayo from Gwayi-Shangani Dam moved a gear up towards implementation yesterday when the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) signed a US$50 million contract with Flowtite South Africa to supply the glass fibre reinforced pipes needed for the pipeline. 

Flowtite South Africa will set up a plant by the end of the year to manufacture the glass fibre pipes in Zimbabwe for the pipeline and other local needs and to feed export markets. 

Under the contract, 52 percent of the pipes for the 252km pipeline will be imported from South Africa, and that is covered under the US$50 million, while the other 48 percent will be manufactured locally. 

Flowtite will deliver the pipes and attend to fittings on-site, and also train the civil contractors and Zinwa staff thereby enhancing skills transfer. 

The pipeline is not just to benefit Bulawayo. Along the route, there will be at least five takeaway points where water can be diverted for other towns and for irrigation. 

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam and pipeline is a major Government priority and is expected to be completed this year after missing last year’s deadline. 

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zinwa chief executive Engineer Taurai Maurukira said the dam and pipeline would not only transform livelihoods in Bulawayo and parts of Matabeleland North in particular but also benefit Zimbabwe as a whole with the second-largest city and a large swathe of the province supplied with the water they needed. 

He said the project was going to contribute towards the attainment of Vision 2030. 

As water demand increases, the pipeline can be extended to the Zambezi River, a concept more than a century old. 

“The contract signed today marks yet another giant leap towards the delivery of the long-awaited national Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project. The project is comprised of three components, the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, the construction of a 252km long pipeline to draw water from the dam to Bulawayo and the construction of another pipeline from Zambezi River and Gwayi-Shangani Dam,” said Eng Maurukira. 

The contract adds impetus to the second phase of the NDS1. So the two organisations will bring fruition and life to the national Matabeleland Zambezi Water project and ultimately bring the much-needed water to Bulawayo. 

Flowtite managing director Mr Ben Mselana said the company was committed to fulfilling the objectives of the Zimbabwean Government in the delivery of water to the people. 

“Our presence through technology and our teams has never been absent from Zimbabwe throughout the years. For us, this is once again an opportunity to re-affirm and support Zimbabwe’s Government’s objective of delivering water to the second city and support its objective of import substitution and growing the economy. 

“There are 40 manufacturing plants of GRP technology. We are proud to say that we will be having the 41st in Zimbabwe before the end of the year which will see us manufacturing pipes for supply in Zimbabwe and our export market through a partnership with Zinwa. 

“We want to ensure that as we develop our infrastructure requirements, we leverage on that to spur jobs and economic participation through various activities,” he said. 

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development chief director Engineer Tinayeshe Mutazu applauded the Ministry and Treasury, Zinwa and Flowtite for ensuring the whole project takes off. 

“Zimbabwe and South Africa enjoy cordial relations and in the context of water, they have a joint water commission which is in the bilateral relationship between our two countries and monitored at the highest level by our Heads of State and Government. 

“Under this arrangement, we have agreed to, among other things, exchange knowledge and technology and it is in this context that we see this whole arrangement coming through in a constructive win-win situation. 

“The signing ceremony today, clearly demonstrates that State enterprises such as Zinwa can partner with the private sector such as Flowtite. It is the general thrust of the Second Republic where we seek to crowd in the private sector for a win-win situation,” he said.

(The Herald)