City of Tshwane, DWS sign an MoU to address water constraints

10th June 2024 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

City of Tshwane, DWS sign an MoU to address water constraints

The City of Tshwane (CoT) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) have formalised a strategic partnership through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to tackle the city’s water challenges.

The MoU, signed on Monday, will see the parties collaborate on various strategic areas such as infrastructure planning and development, water resource planning and infrastructure solutions and capacity building for CoT officials.

The metropolitan municipality’s other challenges such as the Hennops river pollution, dysfunctional Rooiwal wastewater treatment works and inadequate human resources will also be addressed leveraging DWS technical and financial resources.

Further, discussions are at an advanced stage to finalise a flagship engineering candidacy development programme, which will see the secondment of candidate engineers to CoT, along with professional engineers who will be contracted to the city for a three-year period. This team of engineers had undergone training under the DWS.

In addition, DWS will offer free mentorship through its database of mentors to the candidate engineers to assist them to obtain their professional registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Once implemented successfully, the programme will assist CoT to comply with the council’s new Identification of Engineering Work Regulations.

“Addressing our major water challenges requires a collaborative effort between the city and key water stakeholders and the DWS is one of those key players. We have been facing significant water challenges which have been affecting some of our residents for a longer period. Some of these challenges can be linked to ageing infrastructure and maintenance challenges at some of our water treatment plants,” said Tshwane city manager Johann Mettler.

Mettler signed the MoU at the city’s headquarters, Tshwane House, alongside DWS deputy director-general for water and sanitation services Dr Risimati Mathye.

Mathye said the collaboration between the two entities was a significant one, particularly on the DWS side, to fulfill its role as a regulator of the water and sanitation sector.

“We are pleased by the will and zeal that has been shown by the city in ensuring collaborative efforts and allow us to work together in different spheres of government to ensure efficient services to the residents of Tshwane,” Mathye said.

“It has always been our intention to work with local government across to capacitate them where we can, to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6, to realise clean water and decent sanitation provision to communities.”

The other key areas of collaboration that the MoU will focus on include water resource planning and infrastructure solutions in line with the city’s Climate Action Plan; collaboration on water and sanitation-related programmes; education and awareness campaigns and knowledge-sharing, such as the joint hosting of seminars and conferences; the benchmarking of programmes such as the Green Blue and No Drop reports; joint enforcement programmes for water pollution prevention; the exploration of alternative water and sanitation technologies with DWS and its entities; key bulk infrastructure in line with the Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework and Regionalised Spatial Development Framework; and any other additional areas that the parties may agree to collaborate on in future.