Water Security Through Collaboration: Polokwane Partnership Achieves New Milestone


Polokwane, 22 May 2024 – In a powerful demonstration of the impact achieved through public-private partnerships, the Polokwane Water Partnership unveiled the successful completion of Phase 3 of its ambitious project to address water scarcity challenges in the region. The partnership, which brings together the South African Breweries (SAB), Anglo American, the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN), and the City of Polokwane Local Municipality, continues to make strides in safeguarding this precious unrenewable resource.

The Phase 3 report, officially handed over last week, builds upon the groundbreaking work of the previous phases, which identified substantial inefficiencies and water losses within the Polokwane water supply system. This latest phase focused on financial, legal and regulatory recommendations for priority interventions to drive water conservation, demand management, and long-term financial sustainability.

Alyssa Jooste, Africa Water Stewardship and Smart Agriculture Sustainability Manager at SAB and SWPN Co-Chair, hailed the partnership’s progress, stating, “We are ecstatic about witnessing the tangible impacts of our collective efforts in Polokwane. By proactively addressing water losses and improving efficiency, we are not only safeguarding this vital resource but we’re also contributing to the region’s long-term economic growth and resilience.”

Colin Talanda, Principal Engineer: Water Resources Management (Africa and Australia) at Anglo American, echoed the sentiment, emphasising the power of collaborative action. “Water scarcity is a critical issue that demands a united front. This partnership exemplifies how public-private cooperation can drive innovative solutions to complex water challenges. Our commitment to water stewardship extends far beyond our operations, and we are proud to be part of this transformative initiative.”

The Phase 3 report outlines a comprehensive roadmap for further improvements, including visible leakage repair, bulk meter replacement and installation, implementation of pressure management strategies, enhanced metering and monitoring of top consumers, and the establishment of flow, pressure, and level monitoring systems. These measures aim to bolster water security, reduce losses, and ensure accurate billing and revenue collection.

Peter Varndell, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation, which hosts the SWPN, commended the partners’ dedication, remarking, “The Polokwane Water Partnership epitomises the positive impact that can be achieved when stakeholders come together with a shared vision and genuine concern for the communities they serve. This project showcases the potential for private sector expertise to complement government efforts in addressing pressing societal issues.”

Thuso Nemugumoni, Municipal Manager of the City of Polokwane Local Municipality expressed gratitude for the partnership’s support, stating, “As a city, we welcome the support that started in 2019. If we can get it right with water, we have solved all our problems.”
As the Polokwane Water Partnership continues to make strides, it serves as a beacon of hope, illustrating how collective action can drive meaningful change in addressing the water crisis. By fostering a spirit of collaboration and leveraging the expertise of diverse stakeholders, the partnership paves the way for a water-secure future, benefiting communities and industries alike.

For further information about the Polokwane Water Partnership or the Phase 3 report, please contact the SWPN Secretariat at swpn.secretariat@thenbf.co.za.


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