The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has awarded a joint venture of Sinohydro SA/Nthane Brothers the first construction contract on Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The approximately M/R235 million contract is for the Polihali north-east access road, one of the critical advance infrastructure projects which must be completed before construction of the main works – the Polihali dam and transfer tunnel – can commence.

The Sinohydro SA/Nthane Brothers JV comprises South African-registered Sinohydro and Lesotho-registered, Maseru-based Nthane Brothers. The JV will establish offices on site for the implementation of the project.

 “Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project comprises the construction of the Polihali Dam and Transfer Tunnel, hydropower generation, social and environmental programmes. In line with the tendering strategy to achieve the policy objectives of the Phase II Agreement, construction works for Advance Infrastructure including access roads is restricted to contractors registered in Lesotho or South Africa.  To foster capacity building and economic growth, the governments have also made provisions in the policy for sharing of the value of all infrastructure works on an equal monetary basis between consultants and contractors registered in Lesotho and in South Africa,” commented Minister of Water, Honourable Samonyane  Ntsekele. “Phase II offers contractors work continuity for a number of years and the opportunity to gain valuable experience on a large infrastructure project. The combination of local, regional and international expertise at the consulting and contracting level will also contribute to skills transfer and capacity building within the construction and engineering sector.” 

The Polihali north-east access road project entails the upgrading of the existing approximately 16km-long, gravel road to a Class A surfaced road. The road, which runs from the town of Mapholaneng in north-eastern Lesotho and the Polihali dam site, will provide access to the dam site for construction vehicles and improve ease of movement for communities in the surrounding areas.

 Construction is expected to take 20 months.

 The contractor is expected to be on site by the beginning of November, marking the start of Phase II’s six-year construction period.

In other contract news on the project, LHDA has also awarded the contract for the design, supply and installation of the temporary site offices and accommodation units at Tlokoeng, Mokhotlong, to a firm that combines Basotho and South African companies, the  Senqu Hi-Way Partnership. Work on the contract commences immediately with construction expected to be completed by June 2019.

 The Senqu Hi-Way Partnership combines Lesotho-registered and wholly Basotho-owned Senqu Construction Services, and Gauteng-based manufacturing company, Hi-Way Parkhome and Container Services. Also included in the partnership are a number of subcontractors, including several Basotho-owned and South African Black-Owned Enterprises.

 The Tlokoeng site offices and accommodation contract is one of several advance infrastructure contracts such as those for the feeder roads, resettlement housing, the construction of the Polihali Village and ancillary public service facilities that are vital to the project and present substantial opportunities for  participation by emerging enterprises.

 The scope of work includes the design, manufacturing, delivery and installation of fit for purpose, insulated, pre-fabricated offices and accommodation units, including recreation facilities.  Security, fittings and furniture, and the design and construction of related utilities to serve these facilities, including water supply, sewage disposal and power supply systems are also part of the scope.