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Table Mountain dams could be unstable

Hely-Hutchinson and Woodhead dams on Table Mountain above Hout Bay, in Cape Town, South Africa, are to be strengthened with post-tensioned cabling to ensure safe operation during extreme flood conditions. The Cape Metropolitan Council (CMC), which owns the dams, said investigations had revealed that the dams could be unstable in terms of current dam safety regulations promulgated under the National Water Act. A failure of the dams on the mountain above Hout Bay could result in over 1000 fatalities and R50M (US$8M) of prop-erty damage.

CMC has awarded Fairbrother Drill company a R6M (US$0.9M) contract to strengthen the walls of the dams with post-tensioned cabling. CMC also approved other stabilisation works, including:

•R260,000 (US$42,000) for stainless steel handrailing.

•R780,000 (US$127,000) to consultants Ninham Shand for specialist engineering and environmental work.

•Up to a maximum of R140,000 (US$23,000) to the South African National Parks for the provision of an environmental control officer.