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Lesotho Highlands: Water Woes of Win-Wins?

PERISA Case Study 4 on Infrastructure

August 2013

Wentworth, L. 2013. Lesotho Highlands: Water woes or win-wins? (PERISA Case Study 4: Infrastructure). Johannesburg, Maastricht: SAIIA, ECDPM.

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The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) has been acknowledged as a feat of engineering excellence; the real achievement being to use gravity tunnels and dams to divert the river from its natural flow (towards Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape) 570 km to the Gauteng province. In addition, hydroelectricity is to be generated for Lesotho end-users. The bi-national project between Lesotho and South Africa was contracted in 1986, before South Africa’s transition to democracy. With this potentially ominous beginning to the LHWP, it has not been without incident.

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Cross-cutting TopicsEconomic Transformation and TradePolitical Economy AnalysisRegional IntegrationResearch reportsResearchInfrastructurePolitical Economy of Regional Integration in Southern Africa (PERISA)Southern African Development Community (SADC)WaterLesothoSouthern Africa

External authors

Lesley Wentworth

South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)