CAPE TOWN – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane announced on Monday that his department would be handing over the newly-discovered fresh water resource in Beaufort West to the municipality.
Last year, the Council for Geoscience (CGS), a statutory science council under the Department of Mineral Resources, made an unprecedented discovery of a fresh water resource in Beaufort West while conducting research on the development of shale gas.
The City of Cape Town is currently facing its worst drought in history and has implemented level 6b water restrictions for 50 litres or less per person per day, while Beaufort West has also been crippled by a severe lack of fresh water in recent months.
"With the current drought conditions currently experienced in the Western Cape, it is indeed most welcome that through our entity CGS, we discovered clean drinking ground-water in Beaufort West," Zwane told delegates at the opening of the 2018 Mining Indaba.
"This is a result of the multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to our geo-sciences mapping in the country, which is yielding results of science responding to societal issues. We will be handing this resource over to that local municipality next week, so the community can have access to it."
Zwane said that an initiative to maintain the momentum of interest in the geology and exploration investment in South Africa, the R20-billion, ten-year intensive mapping programme headed by CGS, was proceeding well.