Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs 23 October 2012. RATIFICATION OF THE LHWP II AGREEMENT. 1. OUTLINE. 1. Background 2. Main Objective 3. Strategic focus 4. Current Status 5. Ratification. 2. BACKGROUND. In August 2011 the Government of the
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Select Committee on Land and
23 October 2012
RATIFICATION OF THE LHWP II AGREEMENT
2. Main Objective
3. Strategic focus
4. Current Status
In August 2011 the Government of the
Republic of South Africa and the
Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho
signed the LHWP Phase II Agreement.
The LHWP is a joint project between the
Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of
Lesotho implemented in accordance with the
provisions of the Treaty signed in 1986.
The purpose is to enhance the use of the
water of the Senqu / Orange River by
storing, regulating, diverting and
controlling the flow of the shared river in
order to affect the delivery of specified
quantities of water to South Africa.
The delivery system can also be used to
generate hydro-electric power in Lesotho. South Africa is responsible for the cost to establish and manage the water transfer components of the LHWP, i.e., the Katse and Mohale storage dams and the connecting tunnels (124 km long) which was completed as Phase I of the LHWP in 2004.
The main purpose of LHWP Phase II Agreement is to augment the original treaty and address specific issues related to the operation and implementation of Phase II.
The conclusion of this agreement in 2011 is
another step in the direction of fostering
closer co-operation between and amongst
the relevant SADC states with a view to
advancing the SADC agenda of regional
integration and poverty alleviation as
articulated in Article 2 of the Revised SADC
Protocol on Shared Watercourses.
The objective is to strengthen the regional integration by using water as a catalyst for socio-economic development, as well as to advance economic links with key African partners. The nature of the cooperation is aimed at mutual development of the South African and Lesotho water sectors, as a foundation for a modernized integrated economy.
Bilateral cooperation can cement political and strategic relations that can lead to more coordinated strategies in various multilateral environments such as SADC, African Union and the United Nations. This cooperation further embodies the NEPAD principles for development and Africa aspirations for its own Renaissance.
Section 231(2) of the Constitution provides that :
“An international agreement binds the Republic only after it has been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, unless it is an agreement of a technical administrative or executive nature or an agreement which does not require either ratification or accession”
In terms of the Manual on Executive Acts of the President of the Republic of South Africa, para 5.8, Cabinet must consent to the submission of the agreement to Parliament, for the purpose of ratification or accession.
Before signing the Agreement by the two
countries, the Department of Water Affairs
received the assurance from the Office of the
Chief State Law Advisers of the Department of
International Relations and the Department of
Justice that the agreement was not in conflict
international law and domestic law.
As per Cabinet resolution, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs has tabled the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II agreement to Parliament for ratification (Both to Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the NCOP).