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Water over the multi arches of the Churchill Dam

After the big rains in October (2023) both the Kouga and Churchill Dams overflowed. Following a visit to Storms River Village I decided to detour via Kareedouw to the Churchill Dam, somewhere I’ve never actually been to. I wasn’t disappointed that I did. What a sight, especially with the water flowing over the multiple arches.

The Churchill Dam is located on the Krom River at the bottom end of the Langkloof between Kareedouw and Humansdorp. The dam has a capacity of 35 million m³ and a maximum reservoir area of 2,492 km². The dam wall is 43 m high.

Port Elizabeth grew rapidly in the 1930s. George Begg, the City Engineer, suggested building a dam on the Krom, the closest river with plentiful and good-quality water. Although construction began in 1936, it would not be finished until after the end of World War II. In 1942, it was decided to name the dam after Sir Winston Churchill in honor of his prominent role in that war. Churchill was invited to perform the opening of the dam, but declined. General Jan Smuts dedicated it in 1948.

The main purpose of the dam is to supply water to the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and it is managed by the municipality. When I visited the gate to the dam was open although visitors are required to sign in at the office. The really nice part about visiting the dam is that you can view it from both the top and the bottom.