|On 21 May 2018, The National Business Initiative (NB), in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), successfully piloted a Municipal Infrastructure Investment Dialogue. The workshop provided a safe platform in which two metropolitan municipalities where able to speak openly about their water infrastructure challenges and the role they think the private sector can play in overcoming key obstacles. The dialogue revealed two key issues that arguably need to be addressed as a matter of urgency:
1. The very high ‘window of vulnerability’ in Gauteng from a water perspective until at least 2025, when the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project begins to come on line. A focus on water conservation and the development of alternative augmentation options is needed in the near term, to support Gauteng’s water security and avoid potentially serious water restrictions.
2. The significant financial losses being experienced by local government in water provision, given that most municipalities are currently unable to recoup the real cost of providing water to their customers. Interventions to help municipalities price their water right and develop a financially sustainable business model are needed to turn around the dire financial status of most Water Service Authorities across the country. The NBI will work closely with SALGA to ensure that necessary support and interventions are provided where possible, through both existing and new programmes, specifically targeting the two issues highlighted above.
For more information please contact: Maanda Rashaka.