In the late 1990s, Bosch Stemele was appointed by the Impala Irrigation Board to provide the engineering services for a much-needed reservoir near Pongola. Completed in 2000, the award-winning Bivane Dam was a major success achieving all its primary goals. A plaque unveiling ceremony was held on 7th February 2014 to honour the Impala Dam Committee and celebrate the continued benefits it brings to its communities.
Besides supplying potable water to 2 500 people, the dam also supplies irrigation water for 16 200ha of Pongola farmland. 47 emerging farmers west of Pongola now contribute an annual 50 000 to 53 000 tons of cane to the Pongola mill. The R 300 million project cost has been justified by the 16 000ha irrigated area’s increased land value to R 1,3 billion.
Johan Boonzaaier, CE of Impala Water User Association, said, “The project’s sustainability and associated economic and social benefits are a credit to the committee and our engineering team, lead by Bosch Stemele in association with BKS (Aecom) at a time when sustainability has become a global buzz word that engineering projects strive to achieve.” Proud to be associated with the project, Bosch Stemele’s Sid Turner said, “It’s satisfying to see the project delivering triple bottom line sustainability 14 years on.”