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SA9.co.za | June 18, 2019

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5. VAAL

5. VAAL

Province: Free State & Gauteng
CapacitYy 2, 603, 400 megalitres

Constructed in 1938, the Vaal Dam shares its water between provinces in terms of borders and in this case, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State province. The Vaal Dam is officially South Africa’s 2nd biggest dam in terms of surface area and the 4th largest by water capacity or volume. While this dam marks the end of the Gauteng border, it does for all practical purposes finds itself predominantly within the Free State province. With a side earth-fill and a concrete wall the original plan was completed in 1938 but has been built and rebuilt a few times. The 54.2 meter wall raised to 60m in 1960 but was again raised to 63.5 m in 1985 to meet the high demands which now offered a maximum capacity of 2, 603, 400 megalitres of water. The dam spreads over a 322 km surface area. and has a fisherman’s dream of around 800km shoreline! The dam lies within the Vaal River but can be fed from the Sterkfontein dam if the water levels drops too low. The size of the dam will of course accommodate all water sports, with a number of boat- or yacht clubs and launch areas all over the dam, it is probably the most visited and enjoyed dam in our country. The Vaal Dam has its own island which is 5 km in length. The island was used as a secret meeting place by the apartheid government but now hosts the annual Round the Island Yacht race, a Guinness Book of World Records title of the largest inland yacht race.

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