She said the first process would be a Blue Drop certification, which would be awarded to municipalities that complied with 95% of the criteria set for effective drinking water management. The Green Drop certification would be awarded to municipalities that complied with 90% of the criteria set for wastewater management.
Hendricks said that the aim of the certification was to build the confidence of the citizens and tourist. It would indicate that consumers would be able to drink tap water with confidence, and also indicate that wastewater was properly managed and discharged in a sustainable and environmentally acceptable manner.
The municipalities awarded with the certification would also be awarded a cash benefit, although Hendricks added that the details of the prizes were not yet available.
“This is not only an incentive scheme. It will also assist us to monitor the situation since municipalities will be compelled to submit information in order to be awarded with certification. This will be able to tell us where there are problems, and where intervention is needed.”
She added that Dwaf was not only going to award excellence, but would also be implementing an initiative to name and shame municipalities that did not comply with the criteria for effective service delivery. She noted that these municipalities would receive a Red Drop, and would be showcased on government and tourist websites.
Hendricks also announced that South Africa had been short-listed by the World Water Council as one of three countries to possibly host the 2012 World Water Forum. She stated that Dwaf would be preparing its bid shortly.
The World Water Forum is one of the biggest in the global water sector, and South Africa would be competing against Canada and France to host the event. Hendricks said that an estimated 20 000 delegates were set to participate in the event, and she expressed her confidence in South Africa’s ability to host such an event.