South Africa and Lesotho began work today on the second phase of a project that will boost the water the continent’s biggest economy gets from the landlocked mountainous kingdom by 50 percent in eight years.
Lesotho and South Africa will start the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project at the end of March, according to a statement from the landlocked kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations.
The cost to extend a project that brings water to South Africa’s industrial hub from Lesotho has risen about 15 percent to 9 billion rand ($1.02 billion) from a December 2010 estimate, a South African official said.
Johannesburg sits atop the world’s most productive gold reef -- a staggering 40,000 tons of the precious metal has been mined from it during a history tracing back 130 years. That legacy of riches has left behind a toxic inheritance: radioactivity from uranium hauled up in the mining process.