Building infrastructure to improve lives and strengthen the economy

The R27 billion Olifants Management Model Programme (or ‘OMM Programme’) is the Lebalelo Water User Association’s flagship capital expenditure programme that aims to fast-track the construction of bulk and potable water infrastructure to supply targeted communities and commercial water users (such as mining companies, industrial users, etc.) in Sekhukhune District Municipality and Mogalakwena Local Municipality. It will also enhance water supply to the Polokwane Local Municipality. Established in 2002, the Association has successfully built, operated and maintained bulk raw water infrastructure for over 20 years.

The OMM Programme represents a synergistic, long-term social compact between Government and business

The OMM Programme is a collaboration between Commercial and Institutional Members (represented by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS)) and is being funded on a 50:50 basis. Institutional interfacing and alignment between all the members has been key to maintaining the collaboration while moving the OMM Programme forward at a steady rate.

The hive understands the need for synergistic co-existence

There is synergy between nature and bees, and between bees themselves. It is this synergy, or collaboration, between the public and private sector that is a key principle of the OMM Programme. It is also why there is a bee and a hive represented in the OMM Programme logo.

OMM Programme collaborators

African Rainbow Minerals

Anglo American Platinum

Assore (Dwars River)
Bushveld Minerals
Cheetah Chrome
Corridor Resources
Department of Water & Sanitation (DWS)
Fetakgomo Tubatse SEZ
Kadoma Investments
Implats (Marula)
Modikwa Platinum Mine
Mogalakwena Local Municipality
Northam Platinum
Polokwane Local Municipality
Sekhukhune District Municipality
Sylvania Platinum
Tameng Mining & Exploration
Two Rivers Platinum
Vanadium Resources
Zijin Platinum

Shared responsibility for improved accountability

While the OMM Programme is housed within the Lebalelo Water User Association and is being implemented through the Association’s programme management structure, decision-making responsibilities between Institutional and Commercial Members are shared equally through

collaborative structures that have been put into place to protect all stakeholders’ interests and enhance accountability. The structure is underpinned by a Charter in accordance with the principles of KingIV™ good governance.

Our governance and operating model structure

How is the OMM Programme being implemented?

The Olifants River Water Resources Development Project (ORWRDP) was conceptualised by DWS in the 1990’s to relieve pressure on the overallocated Flag Boshielo Dam and to supply water to Polokwane, Mokopane and Sekuruwe. To date Phases 1A, 2A and 2C have been built. The OMM Programme is re-sequencing the construction of the remainder of the ORWRDP and expanding it to include potable water provision to meet revised water needs in the Middle Olifants Catchment Area and reduce capital infrastructure costs.

The OMM Programme will enable water supply to Mokopane and Sekuruwe through Phases 2B and 2B+ and enhance water supply to Polokwane (through Phase 2F) by moving a portion of the Lebalelo Scheme’s current water supply from Flag Boshielo Dam to De Hoop Dam. Steelpoort and Burgersfort will also receive water through the OMM Programme.

Once Phase 2F has been completed and connected to Phase 2F+ (which will be constructed by Lepelle Northern Water) at the Olifantspoort weir, the flow of water in the Lebalelo Scheme will be reversed (Phase 2H).

Resourcing partnerships will be established to not only construct defined bulk raw water and potable water infrastructure, but also operate and maintain it to ensure efficient and effective operation of the entire network, which supports the effective and efficient maintenance of infrastructure.

Construction on Southern Extension 2 (SE2) Phase 1 commenced in October 2022. Construction on Phases 2B and 2B+ is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2024.

Key programme implementation features

Augmenting water supply

The OMM Programme is moving a portion of the Lebalelo Scheme’s current water supply from Flag Boshielo Dam, via the abstraction point on the Olifants River at the Havercroft Weird, to De Hoop Dam to enable water supply to the Mogalakwena area from the Flag Boshielo Dam. The Association’s amended Water Use Licence was issued by DWS in December 2022.

Re-Sequencing and expanding the ORWRDP

The OMM Programme is re-sequencing the construction of the ORWRDP and expanding it to include potable water provision to meet revised water needs and reduce capital infrastructure costs. SE2 construction commenced in October 2022. Construction of Phases 2B and 2B+ will be followed by Phase 2F. A new pump station between will be constructed between Steelpoort pump station and Mooihoek reservoir to enable Phase 2H.

Partnering for resources

The OMM Programme is establishing a resourcing partnership to support the construction, operations and maintenance of the defined bulk water infrastructure (including the De Hoop and Flag Boshielo Dams) and to provide operational support to Water Services Authorities, where required.

Enabling socio-economic development

The OMM Programme’s SED strategy aims to develop a stable socio-economic platform to support communities and provide a conducive environment for accelerated economic growth. Our SED Programmes focus primarily on 5 themes, including Potable Water, Water Re-Use, Enterprise Development, Education and Connectivity.

Key objectives of the OMM Programme

Water Security

Achieve water security through the accelerated delivery of the ORWRDP and the supply of potable and bulk raw water infrastructure to identified areas. Improve water service delivery by supporting Water Service Authorities.

Economic Growth

Provide water infrastructure essential to the industrialisation of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) to take advantage of mining commodity cycles.

Job Creation and Skills Development

Create approximately 42’000 local jobs through construction and system operations as well as mining developments. Develop skills in the water sector through construction, operational and SED activities.

Cost Savings and Operational Efficiency

Save costs by optimising available technical designs. Achieve operational efficiency by utilising existing dams and water infrastructure to their optimal efficiency levels and leveraging private sector contributions.

Shared CAPEX and cost-effective tariff

Share bulk and potable water infrastructure capital expenditure between all members to secure an integrated funding approach and share funding repayment risks. Establish a predictable, cost-effective water tariff to assist large-scale economic investment.

Socio-Economic Development

Accelerate socio-economic development (SED) in Limpopo Province through localisation of infrastructure and operational spend and the implementation of the OMM Programme’s SED initiatives. Collaborate to further develop high impact socio-economic projects.


Comply with sustainability principles of the economy, society and the environment through the Association’s mandate to implement the OMM Programme as well as manage and operate specified infrastructure. Contribute to changing behaviour related to water conservation and payment for services.

Model Pilot Programme

Demonstrate a public-private collaboration model that may be replicated across South Africa in a variety of sectors.

Social Harmony

Improve social harmony through the provisioning of potable water, job creation and socio-economic development.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation has been a key driver of the OMM Programme

While the OMM Programme commenced when the Association signed the Heads of Terms for an OMM Framework Agreement with DWS in March 2022, it was officially launched by the Minister of Water and Sanitation Mr. Senzo Mchunu on the 27 October 2022 at the Ga-Malekana Tribal Authority in Steelpoort, Limpopo. This was followed by the turning of the first sod at the Spitskop Pump Station in Steelpoort, which signalled the start of the construction of the OMM Programme.

Since the launch and sod-turning, there have been numerous engagements with the Minister, which culminated in an invitation being extended to the Association to attend the Presidential Imbizo in Sekhukhune in which President Ramaphosa referred specifically to the OMM Programme while introducing Minister Mchunu, who went on to confirm Government’s funding commitment to the OMM Programme and outlined the benefits to community members.

The OMM Programme aims to leverage infrastructure development to strengthen economic recovery across Limpopo

The OMM Programme will unlock the strategic mineral and industrial potential in the specified regions and bring with it much-needed potable water, water security, significant job creation and socio-economic development.

Key numbers and projected impact

~200km of bulk raw water pipeline will be built.

~675km of bulk potable water pipeline will be built.

~140 communities will benefit from potable water to a yard connection (i.e. at the boundary of each stand), impacting about 390 000 people

~42 000 people will be impacted through direct, indirect and induced employment for the duration of the OMM Programme

SED is at the very heart of the OMM Programme

Infrastructure programmes such as the OMM Programme cannot be completed without considering the socio-economic development (SED) impact on communities and the need for secondary economies to be established. That is why we are taking a holistic approach to SED and our programmes will focus on five key themes: Potable Water, Water Re-Use, Enterprise Development, Education and Connectivity, to develop skills, create jobs and change behaviour.

Shaping the future of our youth through our School Upgrade Programme

The School Upgrade Programme (SUP) is one of the OMM Programme’s SED initiatives and is significant because it focuses on all five of the abovementioned SED themes at the same time. The SUP aims to equip selected primary and secondary schools in targeted communities in Limpopo with innovative, modular infrastructure according to each school’s needs. The SUP focuses on supporting selected schools with facilities and equipment, as well as equipping teachers and addressing indirect issues to allow pupils better opportunities to learn.

In parallel with the start of the OMM Programme’s construction phase, the SUP kicked off with a pilot project at Kwata Primary School in Ga-Phala, which was launched by the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr David Mahlobo, on 15 March 2023.

We aim to be a strategic role model for future water delivery

In addition to the implementation of the OMM Programme, the Association is looking at more opportunities to collaborate with the highest levels of Government, the private sector and communities. We aim to demonstrate leadership in the water sector and, through the OMM Programme, be a strategic role model for future water delivery that may be replicated across South Africa so that more people may receive the benefits of a consistent supply of water.

Get regular

progress updates

For the latest news on the Olifants Management Model (OMM) Programme, please see our latest quarterly newsletter – you can find it in the Documents section of this website under News & Media.