The ESWADE in its annual report for the 2019/20 financial year disclosed that the total contract sum of the approved tenders was to the value of E723.8 million. It was explained that the total number of tenders that were considered was, 52 of which got implemented during the course of the financial year.
The ESWADE mentioned that E36.7 million worth of the tenders were awarded to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Meanwhile, E687 million was awarded to large enterprises mainly for the construction of the bulk water infrastructure for the benefit of 14 279 people in the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP) II extension Project Development Area (PDA).
It was clarified that not all the rejected tenders were done so because they did not meet set requirements, instead the opposite was true.
“Others were rejected for exceeding the reasonable estimates by more than 15 per cent (allowable maximum limit of variance),” ESWADE explained.
It was reported that substantial investment made towards the construction of the bulk water infrastructure took a considerable share (89 per cent) of the overall contract sum of E723.8 million.
Sectors appearing in the pie chart (see below) with a contract share of zero per cent, were due to the fact that their respective actual contract sums were arithmetically insignificant in relation to the overall contract sum of E723.8 million.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Samson Sithole said bulk works continued in earnest under the LUSIP II, and the main conveyance system (MCS) was recorded to be at 89 per cent completion at the end of the reporting period.
“This, for the organisation is a huge attainment, in light of the much-anticipated development of the 5 728 hectares to be irrigated,” Sithole explained.
He continued to state that three overnight balancing dams were also at 99 per cent completion, pending their lining.
“It also pleases us to report that the contractor for the construction of a section of the secondary distribution system (SDS) has been procured. We now look to the SDS to provide economic activity by means of employment to people, especially the youth, of the LUSIP project areas,” added Sithole.
Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza noted that the implementation approach of ESWADE projects continued to generate valuable knowledge and innovations across the agricultural value chains.
He mentioned that the sector was gradually up scaling such approaches to other communities and leveraging on the capacity that had been built over the years to attract investments to the sector from both the public and private sector.
“Over and above the astute stewardship of the ESWADE, the success that has been achieved in the past and current years is bestowed to all the partners that have collaborated in implementation of the projects, especially the leadership in the benefiting communities and the prudence of the farmer companies who have ensured continued proper management of their enterprises and the project infrastructures,” said Mabuza.
The ESWADE was realised by government in 1999, as the Eswatini Komati Project Enterprise (SKPE), an institution that was established to lead and coordinate a water-based project in the Downstream Komati Basin.
This project was intended to transform the Komati basin and the livelihoods of the people there through intense agricultural activity. Successful coordination of this project saw birth of the now ESWADE, following an expanded mandate. The focus was on mobilising people for development on Eswatini Nation Land and constructive use of water resources to stimulate food security, poverty alleviation and social invigoration in disadvantaged parts of the country.