Climate Change: Strategic Water Partnership Network of South Africa (SWPN) & Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB)

This year, South Africa experienced severe drought and water restrictions in the Western Cape, demonstrating the importance of managing water resources not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole. South Africa is a water scarce country and the SWPN is working in partnership with the SA Department of Water and Sanitation to close the 17% gap between water supply and demand by 2030. In South Africa, the NBF hosts the SWPN Secretariat which is a highly effective public private partnership platform that has been working to sustainably manage South Africa’s water resources to the benefit of all.

Over the 2017 period, the SWPN has achieved key milestones including:

 Saving 55 million cubic metres of water by rolling out a water management system to 9 irrigation schemes in South Africa with a further 14 schemes identified for implementation.

 Advised and supported local municipalities to reduce water losses and therefore non-revenue water losses.

 The SWPN in partnership with the National Business Initiative and the Royal Danish Embassy hosted the Municipal Water Infrastructure Financing conference during the third Annual Water Stewardship Summit on 12 October 2017 in Sandton, South Africa. The event focused on the initial planning and project conceptualisation of the new National Water and Sanitation Master Plan and attracting partners and financiers to support its implementation.

 Securing financial contribution from the Department of Water and Sanitation which has cemented the government’s commitment to the SWPN. 

As a spin off initiative of the SWPN’s Waste Water and Effluent working group, the Mine Water Coordinating Body (MWCB) was established as a collaborative platform for mining companies (Anglo American, South 32, Glencore, Exarro), government (Department of Water and Sanitation, Department of Mineral Resources) and other key stakeholders (Eskom, Sasol, Chamber of Mines) to engage to address issues related to mine closure and finding long-term sustainable solutions. The MWCB will be officially launched in Q1 of 2018 and will assist in the development of mine water treatment and community development projects in South Africa.


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