The NBI’s thought leadership work has seen failing or ineffective wastewater treatment works consistently raised as an area of strong concern for business and wider stakeholders in South Africa. For example, improving wastewater treatment has emerged as a key priority within the NBI’s green economy project (as implemented under the South African Green Fund between 2014 and 2016) and the NBI’s work to identify priority areas of business action on the National Development Plan (NDP), through a process run between 2015 and 2016.
Improved wastewater treatment in South Africa will require collaboration by a set of priority partners that includes the private sector, all spheres of government and key civil society organisations to ensure that the country has well-functioning wastewater facilities staffed by competent managers and technicians.
As a result of this context, ‘Partnering with municipalities to address wastewater treatment’ forms the 2nd priority action in the NBI’s NDP Business Action Plan. The key objectives of this action are to:
- Investigate and pilot innovative methods to finance improved operations and maintenance (O&M) of wastewater facilities
- Support effective municipal procurement in treatment plant design and rehabilitation, taking into consideration ongoing O&M requirements
- Share best practices on fit for purpose wastewater treatment scheme design and rehabilitation
- Support skills development and skills transfer across the wastewater treatment sector
- Develop and pilot a replicable packaged solution that enables municipalities to develop or upgrade wastewater treatment facilities in a manner that is financially and institutionally sustainable
Companies and stakeholders interested in this particular priority action are advised to review the detailed action plan pertaining to improved wastewater treatment in the NBI’s NDP Business Action Plan.