‘Withholding water royalties a breach of Treaty’
Maseru – The South Africa-based Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has been served with a Writ of Execution by the High Court of South Africa to stop the processing of monthly payments for water royalties to Lesotho.
TCTA was originally established as a special purpose vehicle to fulfil South Africa’s treaty obligations in respect of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), therefore it is in possession of all pertinent documentation.
The Government of Lesotho has learned of these events and it expressed its shock as the agreement is between Lesotho and South Africa, making TCTA only a facilitator and a third party in the transfer of royalties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of Lesotho has therefore written to the High Commission of South Africa in honour of the Treaty between the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa (Parties of the Treaty) of October 24, 1986.
In the letter, the ministry highlighted Article 6 (8) of the Treaty which states that interruption of the flow of water to South Africa or non-payment of the Royalties rightly due to the Government of Lesotho is a serious breach of the Treaty by either party.