South Africa and Denmark have renewed their water sector collaboration for another five years.
The Department of Water and Sanitation and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, under the Ministry of Environment, have officially entered into phase three of their strategic collaboration in the water sector, which includes water use and resources.
The treaty was formally ratified by Minister of Water Sanitation Senzo Mchunu and Danish Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld during a dinner meeting in Tshwane on Tuesday.
Mchunu and Rehfeld met to sign letters of extension, discuss the memorandum of understanding (MoU), and brainstormed a way forward on how to address sector challenges.
Phase three focuses mainly on technology transfer, research and innovation, with the purpose of supporting entities such as the Water Research Commission.
It includes training and capacity-building, with the intention of exploring opportunities to strengthen capacity development through training and student support.
Phase three also aims to address problems around industrial efficiency.
The visibly excited Mchunu expressed gratitude to the Danish government for helping the SA ensure water security
“Thank you for extending this agreement. We are genuinely excited about this partnership,” said Mchunu.
“This comes at a time when we are faced with a number of challenges in the sector. Water is such an important resource and as you know, it has no substitute,” Mchunu said.
The Danish ambassador said the partnership would enhance saving, recycling processes, metering and monitoring technology.
“We are looking forward to continuing with this partnership which has been in existence for a number of years now, we hope that we are making a positive contribution”, Rehfeld concluded.
South Africa is a water-scarce country. This means, like electricity, we have more demand than supply.
“This does not mean we’re in a crisis. If we manage the water we have we will meet the constitutional right,” said Mchunu.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney