The peak workforce on the construction site was 870 people. Over 70% was mainly unskilled and semi-skilled workers recruited from the local villages.
A conventional plant was used for the construction of the earthworks and concrete works. The reason for this was that there was limited scope for the use of major labour intensive methods during this phase of construction. However, "conventional" in this case meant a fleet of 100 tonne capacity bottom dump trucks, supported by 50t, 35t and 25t articulated dump trucks. The local truckers would have found their equipment very short lived under these conditions. The the use of plants from local entrepreneurs was therefore more for concrete aggregate movement and similar tasks.
Critical target dates successfully achieved in the construction programme were as follows:
- Phase 1 river diversion - 30 September 1994
- Phase 2 river diversion - 31 October 1995
- Commencement of impounding - November 1997
- Contract completion - April 1998
Funding was through a loan from Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) loan for R488,4 million at 10% interest. The construction and engineering totalled R418 million and the relocation and compensation cost a further R70 million.