Innovation: The canal had to be repaired as a matter of urgency to reinstate water supply to the irrigated fields but the six meter high riverbank was still extremely vulnerable to erosion. It was decided to build a series of groyns (A groyn is a wall built at a right angle with the riverbank, anchored into the riverbank and protruding into the river) in the river to prevent further erosion and to promote natural vegetation to establish itself downstream of the groyns on the riverbank. Funding for the project was obtained through innovative methods. The Provincial Government of the Western Cape provided funds from their Poverty Alleviation Budget, and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) provided the balance of the funding from their Flood Relief Budget. This innovative and valuable partnership between the National and Provincial Governments facilitated a solution that was innovative and effective.
Effectiveness: The benefits of the project are three fold: - Firstly the canal, the vineyards and the orchards are now protected against erosion. Secondly, the local unemployed community benefited from the employment created during the 3.5 months' construction period. Finally, the National and Provincial Government benefited by proving that service delivery can be provided through innovative and effective solutions to complicated problems.
Poverty Impact: As in many rural areas, the unemployment of Calitzdorp was relatively high; the project was designed to make optimal use of manual labour. The result was that on average 100 people were employed and of these 45% were women. Finally, the local community has been trained as sub-contractors to deliver these services in future.
Sustainability: These people can now use their skills to gain employment in similar setting.
Replication: This project can be replicated where floods have caused damage and are quite easily replicated.