SKILLS AND COLLABORATION NEEDED TO OVERCOME WATER CHALLENGES
Capacity development and closer collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders will be necessary if South Africa is to halt its declining water security challenge. This is according to industry experts and advisors to the IFAT Africa trade show and forum, which took place in March to mark South Africa’s National Water Week 2021.
Benoit Le Roy, founding member of the SA Water Chamber NBC and advisory board member of IFAT Africa, says the country’s water security has been declining year on year. There is a master plan which attempts to address the complex challenges, but no progress has been made in implementing it. Water supply and management problems are a symptom of ineffective municipalities, and there are now around 110 of these currently being reported, compared with 60 a year ago. Le Roy says urgent moves need to be made to decentralise water infrastructure and management, upskill local government to be able to implement water security measures and address the nation’s high level of unaccounted-for water, which is mostly due to leaks. The country also needs to drive efficiencies in its supply systems, price water properly, and embark on more desalination and water re-use projects.
IFAT Africa is the continent’s leading trade fair and forum for the water, sewage, refuse and recycling industries. It brings together public and private sector stakeholders from across Africa to discuss challenges and solutions for the water and waste sectors, and will take place at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg in November 2021.