Aug 27, 2012
Govt seeks collaboration with industry to close R670bn water plan's funding gapBack
Agriculture|Engineering|SECURITY|Africa|Industrial|Mining|Resources|Security|Water|Water Services|Africa|South Africa|Security|Energy|Security|Services|Water Management|Water Services|Environmental|Edna Molewa|Fred Van Zyl|Infrastructure|Security|Water
© Reuse this
The funding gap stood at R338-billion over this period, but the Minister indicated that the bill could be lowered significantly by improving water management and governance as laid out in the new water resource plan.
The department aimed to source the funding over the ten-year period from a combination of budget allocations, rechanneling of funds, inter-department collaboration, the national fiscus and various other mechanisms such as co-sponsorships and partnerships with the private sector; however, the funding options were still under examination and a new investment model was being developed.
The department’s initial investment framework covered infrastructure and developments in water management and water services, but has since extended to include, besides others, agricultural irrigation schemes, owing to the extent of the water losses occurring in this sector.
Water Services director and NWRS2 task leader Fred van Zyl told Engineering News Online that the DWA would seek to incorporate commitments by the various industries into the new NWRS2.
The long-awaited plan had received support and commitments from major industry players in sectors such as mining, agriculture and energy to implement water management plans.
Van Zyl said that the department, over the next few months, aimed to source agreements and memorandums of understanding from the various sectors to develop additional chapters to the strategy.
The proposed NWRS2, which aimed to mitigate the protection, use, development, conservation, general management and control of South Africa’s scarce water resources, would be available to stakeholders for a period of 90 days, after which Molewa would finalise the policy and action the strategies tabled.
The first NWRS, published in 2004 and promulgated in 2005, set out the blueprint for water resources management for the first time in the country. The second strategy was anticipated to outline the strategic direction for water resources management over the next five years.
Van Zyl noted that the department and the various sectors would develop individual chapters outlining strategies customised to the industry and would analyse their water footprint, water use efficiency, contribution to the value chain and job creation, as well as the pollution, social and economic impact of each sector.
Some of the sectors had already developed water management initiatives, including establishing water footprints, water master plans and effective and smart water management strategies.
Molewa noted that the mining sector, urban development, industries and agriculture were identified as the main contributors of deteriorating water quality.
“This pollution negatively impacts on the quality of ground water, which at times, is the only source of water for communities in some of our rural areas,” she said.
Currently, the agriculture sector, on which 8.5-million people were indirectly or directly dependent on for employment or income, accounted for 60% of the country’s water use. This was followed by municipal and domestic sectors using 27%. However, the municipalities registered water losses of up to 37% and, where no records were kept, it was estimated that this loss reached 50%. In many irrigation and domestic schemes, losses reached 60%.
The mining, energy and industrial sectors used 2.5%, 2% and 3%, respectively, of the available water in South Africa.
The NWRS2 pointed out that South Africa, which was labelled the thirtieth driest country in the world, suffered from low levels of rainfall, with high variability and high levels of evaporation owing to its hot climate. Further, the United Nations ‘World Water Development Report 2012’ earlier ranked South Africa 148 out of 180 countries for water availability per capita.
Despite the country’s 2 528 registered water-supply dams and expansive investment into infrastructure, the country’s financially viable freshwater resources were almost depleted. The first water strategy pointed out in 2004 that most of South Africa’s water management areas held water deficits.
Further, of the 223 river ecosystem types in South Africa, 60% were threatened - with 25% critically endangered.
Addressing concerns that unresolved water security, water quality and associated water management challenges could restrict South Africa’s socioeconomic growth, the NWRS 2 would focus on the roles played by government, the DWA, catchment management agencies, water services authorities and water boards. However, strong collaboration between industry, government and citizens were required to adequately deal with the water challenges.
Meanwhile, Molewa identified a shortage of engineers, scientists and artisans, as well as adequate leadership, governance and oversight as a “critical challenge”.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Water News
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.