Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme


Community needs in the iLembe District Municipality south of the Thukela River, required infrastructure for 10Mℓ abstraction and 55Mℓ water treatment works (WTW) on the Lower Thukela River near Mandini, 100km north of Durban.

One of the challenges that arose on this project was to ensure effective integration of the civil contractor and the mechanical and electrical (M&E) contractor regarding detailed design, civil structures, reinforcement and M&E installations.



Appointed on contract administration and construction monitoring, Bigen ran six contracts concurrently, ranging from civil works to bulk electrical power supply. Bigen also re-engaged the Aurecon design team to fast-track the M&E design approvals, and employed efficient systems to coordinate and streamline the design sign-offs, and evaluate and align the programmes and construction quality sign-off procedures.

The scope of work included abstraction works, pump stations, sediment traps, a 171m weir across the river, WTW, access roads, a 30 Mℓ reservoir, a 3.65 km rising main, a 30km gravity main to Mvoti reservoir and a substation and power supply from Eskom.

The plant has been successfully supplying water to communities since July 2017.



  • Quality assurance.
  • Contract administration.
  • Construction monitoring.


SED impact

  • The 55Mℓ plant can serve between 28 000 and 45 000 households (230 000 people) on a continuous basis.
  • 23 106 labour days for local residents.
  • A large number of permanent jobs created.
  • R476,7 million paid to partners and small contractors.



Development Advisory and Impact





Real Estate