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.
In light of debilitating water shortages throughout South Africa, the Coca-Cola Foundation has pledged to help alleviate this constant issue experienced throughout the country, which has been exacerbated thanks to climate change.
The foundation has invested $1.28 million (approximately R18 million) to help replenish water back into nature. It has done this through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) and has invested in five projects to remove invasive alien plant species that feed on major cities and towns.
QFS managing director Herman Smit said: “The plant is still not in operation as the contractual disputes have not been settled. The City has failed to clarify its legal position relative to the water to be injected. QFS have, via their legal advisor, formally advised the City that QFS does not believe the City is meeting its legal obligations to comply with the necessary water safety regulations.”
SA Water has completed water infrastructure upgrades at Watinuma in the state’s remote north west and work have now begun further west in the Murputja region to improve the safety and reliability of drinking water to local communities.
In late 2017, the state-wide utility took on management of water services in an additional three Aboriginal communities in the APY Lands — Kanpi, Nyapari and Watinuma — as well as government facilities at Murputja.
SA Water’s General Manager of Customers, Strategy and Innovation, Anna Jackson, said supplying water to such a vast remote area brings unique challenges, so the teams and contractors working to maintain and upgrade the equipment have had to think outside the box.