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SPECIAL FEATURE Water Resources Group. The Water Resources Group, an international consortium of private companies, agencies and development banks, has established a South African chapter, the Strategic Water Partners Network. The Berg River-Voëlvlei Augmentation Scheme, finally approved at national level in November 2019, will pump water out of the Berg River in winter, having first allowed for enough water to cover the ecological water requirements of the river and the estuary. A Wa te r S te w a rd s h i p programme has been introduced in the Breede River catchment area. WWF-South Africa, Woolworths and Marks & Spencer are collaborating on a scheme encouraging stone fruit farmers to put in place systems that reduce risk to water supply and quality. WWF-SA’s also has a Water Balance Programme which works to increase the amount of clean water coming into the environment. Woolworths’ contribution to this plan involves getting rid of alien vegetation on the farm where it sources its wines (Paul Cluver Wines) and in the Leeu River catchment area. The introduction by the National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA) of the Blue and Green Drop Awards has been successful. The nation’s municipalities receive scores reflecting how well they are doing in terms of providing clean water.

In order to win a Drop Award (Blue for water quality, Green for waste treatment), water systems have to score 95% or higher. The DWS has allocated R4.3-billion to helping municipalities deliver water. The Interim Water Supply Programme concentrates on 23 district municipalities. Although the Western Cape’s municipalities are among the country’s best in terms of providing and maintaining infrastructure, Overstrand Local Municipality has outsourced the management of its water and wastewater infrastructure. In 2019 the municipality, which is headquarted in the coastal town of Hermanus, signed a 15-year contract with Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa to look after its six wastewater treatment plants and nine water facilities. Other infrastructure includes 44 reservoirs, 123km of pipelines and 55 water and wastewater pump stations.

Climate adaptation The Western Cape Provincial Government has introduced a Smart Agri plan to coordinate efforts to tackle the effects of climate change on agriculture. Developed by two provincial departments (Agriculture and Environmental Affairs and Development Planning), the African Climate and Development Initiative of the University of Cape Town and several private sector participants, SmartAgri has six priorities: • Conservation agriculture: minimal soil disturbance, crop diversity and permanent soil cover. Wheat yields have increased because of the programme. • Restoring degraded landscapes. • Improved catchment area management, including removing alien plants. • Energy efficiency. • Giving priority to climate-resistant crops and livestock. • Sharing knowledge. The wall of the Clanwilliam Dam is to be raised, doubling the capacity of the dam and bringing an additional 5 000ha of land under irrigation. After a lengthy delay, the project is now expected to be completed in 2023. The 13-metre addition will cost R2.5-billion and could support high-value crops for export such as citrus and table grapes. The land could also form part of the land reform programme. The Western Cape Provincial Government has given the national government notice with respect to another wall-raising project that has stalled. If the feeder canal of the Brandvlei Dam were to be raised by just 30cm, it would significantly increase the dam’s storage capacity and improve the prospects of farmers in the area. When the long-term drought was at its worst, tourists to Cape Town were encouraged to “Save like a Local”. Together with a range of technical and legislative measures, the campaign to get Capetonians and their guests to use less water worked remarkably well. Where the residents and businesses of the city were using

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WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020

Profile for Global Africa Network

Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

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