South Africa – Outcomes

Our Outcomes

Water Efficiency and Leakage Reduction: Building on the No Drop certification strategy and scorecard already under implementation, this working group has now finalized a Performance Based Contracting toolkit to assist municipalities in implementing loss reduction programs.  This toolkit has been adopted by the South Africa Local Government Authority (SALGA), which has integrated it into a new R90 million grant fund (US$9m) with Rand Water which can be accessed by municipalities in Gauteng.  The SWPN will next support the implementation of test projects, using the toolkit, in collaboration with SALGA.

Effluent and Waste Water Management:  Over the last six months, the analytical and institutional design phases of the mine water management project have been completed.  This has resulted in a business case for a proposed Coordinating Body for mine-water management in the Witbank Catchment (the area being used as a test case for the SWPN project).  The establishment of this Coordinating Body was the focus of discussion during the most recent technical working group meeting, although formal commitments from the necessary partners remain to be secured.

Agriculture and Supply Chain Water:  Promising recent progress has been made under this working group.  An effort to re-launch the development of a business case for private sector involvement in the upgrading of the Vaalharts irrigation system, in collaboration with the National Agriculture Marketing Board, has been successful.  This work is currently ongoing, and is expected to ultimately provide a model for replication with other irrigation systems in the country.  In parallel, the working group has made good progress in implementing a roll out of the Water Administration System, an automated system for bulk irrigation scheduling, which has the potential in the short term to deliver water savings of over 16 million m3.

Our Future

Commitment to the SWPN amongst the respective partners remains high.  In order for this to be maintained, in particular with the new administration of the Department of Water and Sanitation, it will be critical that the range of projects under development begin to demonstrate greater forward momentum, and ultimately practical results that can be clearly communicated to outside audiences.  Furthermore, given the diversity of projects underway, the responsibility on the secretariat is high, and over the next six months the level of staffing within the secretariat may need to be reviewed to ensure there is sufficient capacity to deliver.  If achieved, these steps can ensure the SWPN becomes not just a model of partnership-building, but also a model for how multi-stakeholder partnerships can achieve results in addressing the most pressing water resource challenges.