Originally built by Orano (then Areva Resources Namibia) to supply water to its Trekkopje Mine near Arandis, the desalination plant is now an important contributor to the overall supply of the potable water delivery system managed by Namwater.
Despite the recognition that access to water and sanitation is a human right, in 2015, 3 in 10 people (2.1 billion) did not have access to safe drinking water, and 6 in 10 (4.5 billion) had no access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
Durban – The Department of Environmental Affairs is calling for public comment after it recently granted an environmental authorisation for a proposed desalination plant in the north of eThekwini near oThongathi.
Umgeni Water – the applicants in the project – stressed that while the environmental authorisation had been granted, there was no intention to construct a desalination plant in the north or south of eThekwini at this stage.
Tito Ochieng, the director of water services in Turkana, in the north of the country, said the potential investor – Saudi-owned Almar Water – has already signed a deal to build a $160m (£125m) desalination plant in Mombasa.
South Africa is a world leader in water technology – now we just have to put it into practice – South Africa
South Africa is a top 20 producer of new knowledge in the water domain globally. Many of our innovations can not only help solve South African problems, but also position South Africa as a global manufacturing hub for these products.
Some argue that this is a natural reaction to the adjustment from a uni-polar single superpower world of 20 years ago to the one of multiple centres of power – economic, political and military – we have today.
Desalination may be considered as an option to supply additional water for the growing population in and around Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, in the long term, but Umgeni Water is continuing with plans for more traditional water schemes for now.
Mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said the city council did not intend to litigate through the media, but it was understood the two parties were in meetings trying to negotiate an out of court settlement. Last month, QFS lodged court papers in the Western Cape High Court.