The 1986 Treaty, signed by the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa, governs the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and the export of water to South Africa.
The Treaty also sets out the governance structures required to implement the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on behalf of the two governments. These structures are the:
The Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC) is a bi-national body representing the governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. It is responsible and accountable for the project, acts on behalf of and advises the governments and is the channel of all government inputs relating to the project. The LHWC also monitors the activities of the LHDA and TCTA against milestones and performance indicators agreed with the relevant boards, and oversees the activities of the LHDA and the TCTA. In the case of the TCTA, this is only for activities related to the LHWP.
The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) was set up to manage that part of the project that falls within Lesotho’s borders. It is answerable to a Board of Directors which is responsible for the performance and affairs of the LHDA. As stipulated in Protocol VI, the Board reports to the LHWC. As the project implementing authority, the LHDA is responsible for the implementation, operation and maintenance of the components of the project in Lesotho, including the social, environmental and economic developments of the project such as resettlement, compensation, the supply of water to resettled villages, irrigation, fish hatcheries and tourism. In addition, LHDA is responsible for raising the funding for the hydropower component of Phase II.
The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) is responsible for the implementation, operation and maintenance of the components of the project in South Africa. TCTA is also responsible for raising the funding for the water transfer component of Phase II.