City of Tshwane, Water and Sanitation sign agreement to address water issues

Monday, June 10, 2024

The City of Tshwane has set the wheels in motion towards formalising partnerships that will contribute towards addressing the city’s water and sanitation related challenges.

The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is among the strategic partners which the city has approached not only to be involved as a regulator, but to also collaborate on various issues and leveraging the department’s technical and financial resources to jointly address the metropolitan municipality’s other challenges, including the Hennops River pollution, Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works and inadequate human resources. 

The City of Tshwane and the department have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on various strategic areas including infrastructure planning and development, water resource planning and infrastructure solutions, and capacity building for the municipal officials.

The agreement was signed on Monday by Tshwane City Manager, Johann Mettler and Deputy Director-General for Water and Sanitation Services, Dr Risimati Mathye, at the city’s headquarters in Tshwane House.

The parties said discussions are at an advanced stage to finalise a flagship engineering candidacy development programme, which will see the secondment of candidate engineers to the City of Tshwane, as well as professional engineers who will be contracted to the city for a three-year period. 

A team of engineers has undergone training under the department. 

In addition, the Department of Water and Sanitation will offer free mentorship through its database of mentors to the candidate engineers to assist them to obtain their professional registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

Once implemented successfully, the programme will assist the city in complying with the new ECSA Identification of Engineering Work Regulations.

Mathye said collaboration between the two entities is significant, particularly on the Water and Sanitation side, to fulfil its role as a regulator of the water and sanitation sector.

“Addressing our major water challenges requires a collaborative effort between the city and key water stakeholders and the DWS is one of those key players.

“We have been facing significant water challenges which have been affecting some of our residents for a longer period [and] some of these challenges can be linked to ageing infrastructure and maintenance challenges at some of our Water Treatment Plants.

“We are pleased by the will and zeal that has been shown by the city in ensuring collaborative efforts and allow us to work together in different spheres of government to ensure efficient services to the residents of Tshwane. It has always been our intention to work with local government across to capacitate them where we can, to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6, to realise clean water and decent sanitation provision to communities,” Mathye said.

Other key areas of collaboration that the MoU will focus on include:

• Water resource planning and infrastructure solutions in line with the city’s Climate Action Plan.
• Infrastructure planning and development.
• Collaboration on water and sanitation-related programmes.
• Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation.
• Training and capacity building including secondment of staff between the parties.
• Education and awareness campaigns.
• Knowledge-sharing.
• Benchmarking of programmes like Green Drop, Blue Drop, No Drop.
• Joint enforcement programmes for water pollution prevention.
• Exploration of alternative water and sanitation technologies with DWS and its entities.
• Key bulk infrastructure in line with the Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework and Regionalised Spatial Development Framework.
• Any other additional area that the parties may agree to collaborate on in future.

The signed MoU reinforces the ideal of the Intergovernmental Relations Act, Act No. 13 of 2005 which implores a concerted effort by government in all spheres to work together and to integrate as far as possible their actions in the provision of services, the alleviation of poverty and the development of society. –