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Development Partnership between Sasol, the Emfuleni Local Municipality and GIZ commences

April 2012

Development Partnership between Sasol, the Emfuleni Local Municipality and GIZ commences

Recent studies conducted by the South African Department of Water Affairs (DWA) showed that the total water demand on the integrated Orange-Senqu River system including its main tributary, the Vaal River, already exceeds the sustainable supply. The system is responsible for supplying water to 60% of South Africa’s economy and a large part of the population in the Gauteng Province, the economic hub of South Africa. It also supports the economies and domestic needs of neighbouring Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia (SADC region). Severe water shortages will be experienced in the near future unless a number of interventions are implemented soon. As one key objective, all municipalities have been set the target to reduce their water use by at least 15% by 2014.

In addition to high household water use, water losses across the supply systems are excessive. The Emfuleni Local Municipality, located approximately 70 km south of Johannesburg, experiences annual water losses of 44% that is 36 million m3 or the equivalent of over 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Many municipali-ties, including Emfuleni, do not have the necessary capacity, in-struments or resources to implement the required water conser-vation and demand management actions. This not only threatens the water supply of the residents, but also poses water risks to businesses and restricts economic development.

Businesses are also bound to comply with demanding water-reduction targets set by the government. In many cases, they have already made significant investments to reduce their water use, but now face diminishing returns: as the costs for further improvements are increasing comparative to additional gains in water saving.  
However, what if there was a way for them to redirect these investments to help other users make larger savings? What if they could receive recognition and credit for these water savings? What if this could even be done with users situated upstream to the business? An option that could lead to significant water savings and at the same time reduce water risks, allowing more water to stay in the system and therefore increasing availability to other users and even neighbouring riparian countries.

The Partnership 

The pioneering development partnership between Sasol New Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd,  the Emfuleni Local Municipality and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will demonstrate how a public-private sector cooperation model can be established to incentivise and leverage private investment for public water infrastructure and for building the capacity of municipal service providers. This aims at reducing urban water demand and shared water risks. Once proven, the model will inform other similar partnership projects in the SADC region and beyond.

To ensure delivery for public benefit with full public-sector support, the partnership has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Emfuleni Local Municipality. Under this MoU, initial funding will be made available through German Development Cooperation funds - managed by GIZ - and direct investments from Sasol. Right from the beginning, the drinking water and energy cost savings will be re-invested to augment the partnership seed funding and initiate new water conservation interventions.

The partnership will immediately focus on

• Initiatives to reduce physical water losses in prioritised areas,
• Education and awareness of the community regarding water conservation issues, and
• Development of new or support of existing community plumbing entities.

The baseline water use in the priority areas will be established and water meters will be installed. The understanding of the water supply and demand balance, the identification of priority areas for leak repairs, and the monitoring of savings will be improved. Plumbing and fixtures in households and public infrastructure will be repaired and broad community engagement facilitated. The latter includes, for example, training of local labour, as well as water conservation education and awareness programmes, including aspects such as water-wise gardening.

Key result will be the reduction of water losses in the ELM area by 12 million m3 by June 2014. A decline of physical water losses as well as financial losses (theft, inaccurate metering, and bill collection) across the system is also anticipated, thereby improving the municipality’s financial situation. Cumulative savings are expected to trigger re-investment into the water conservation activities of ELM.

Please find below interesting background reading material in this context. 

[Added: October 2012 - Factsheet_DPPP_Emfuleni_July_2012_sm.pdf]


Good Practices Catalogue_low res.pdf2.86 MB
Factsheet_DPPP_Emfuleni_July_2012_sm.pdf1.17 MB

Tagged to ICPs: AusAID, DFID, BMZ/BMBF
Tagged River Basin Organization: Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM)
Tagged River Basin: Orange-Senqu