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Matekane urges LHDA to address community grievances


Bereng Mpaki

In a firm directive, Prime Minister Ntsokoane Matekane has implored Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) to urgently address issues leveled against it by the people and the business community.

Matekane urged the authority to avail the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) water to local communities, and also to strive for cordial relations with the people for improved co-existence.

The Prime Minister was addressing attendants during a rare LHDA’s stakeholder conference, which also served to launch the LHDA’s 10-year strategy this week at the ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre. The LHDA is the implementing and managing agency of LHWP on the Lesotho side.

Matekane’s sentiments come amid mounting stakeholder grievances over the shortcomings of the project implementation.

Several unpleasant legacies of the project ranging from lack of access to its water sources by Lesotho inhabitants, issues of low and delayed compensation for affected communities to labour unrests and public demonstrations have often dogged the bi-national project between Lesotho and South Africa.            

“I have been made aware of several complaints by the business fora, workers, and communities at large. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to urge the LHDA to seriously consider these complaints and to be deliberate in resolving them timely,” he said.

“The ongoing delays are a concern to the parties (Lesotho and RSA) to the project. We trust that you will work together with the contractors to rock the ship toward the right course and recover the lost time,” Matekane added.

On his part, LHDA’s Chief Executive, Tente Tente said the new strategy is among other things, meant to respond some of the long-standing stakeholders’ issues with the project.  

“I have no doubt that the strategy will respond to many of the stakeholder issues,” Tente said.   

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