South Africa

Our Work in South Africa

Our Role

In no country has our partnership progressed further than South Africa. In late 2011, we established a multi-stakeholder platform – the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) – to support government efforts to develop and sharpen programs in three areas: water efficiency and leakage reduction; effluent and wastewater management; and agricultural and supply chain. The SWPN-SA has recently established task teams to explore new areas of work, including water stewardship and incentives, sanitation, and skills development. It is also exploring incentives to encourage private sector involvement in water projects.

The SWPN is an informal and voluntary platform that aims to close the 17 percent gap between water supply and demand projected for 2030. It now has nearly 50 members and has rapidly become an established space for constructive dialogue.

The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has held up the SWPN as a priority for engagement, praising it as “an innovative partnership between the South African government and the private sector.” Within the network, innovative ideas are being developed that leverage the strength of public and private sectors.


The SWPN has rapidly become South Africa’s leading multi-stakeholder platform: fostering trust, engaging stakeholders, raising funds, forging partnerships and advancing practical projects. Combined, the ”No Drop” and the “Mine Effluent pilot and National Impact Projects” have the estimated potential to shrink South Africa’s projected 17% water gap by about 3.8%, a figure that could increase substantially when we also implement other water-saving projects in agriculture.

The SWPN has generated its first wave of three National Impact Projects, one for each work stream:

Water Efficiency and Leakage Reduction: In May 2013 an assessment and evaluation system for water use efficiency within the local government sector (The No Drop system) was developed and the strategy is already under implementation.

Effluent and Waste Water Management: In mining regions such as Olifants, reuse could close the water gap by as much as 26 percent, representing a potential value at stake of US$70 million per year value added.

Agriculture and Supply Chain Water: Reports estimate 20 percent of the system’s water is lost in distribution, half of which could be recovered through improved farming practices, ultimately generating annual water savings in the Vaal River system of 40 million m3.