The Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrates World Water Day through continued collaboration with local ket stakeholders in South Africa

The Netherlands and South Africa have a long-standing collaboration in the area of water related issues. The drought in South Africa, and especially in the Western Cape has reaffirmed that climate change is a reality that needs innovative, collaborative and sustainable solutions. The Dutch missions in South Africa therefore confirms its commitment to work alongside and with South African experts, businesses and government to address these challenges and find sustainable solutions together.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa will celebrate World Water Day by pledging its  continued support for initiatives that contribute to sustainable solutions in South Africa’s water sector. The latest initiative will see the collaboration of the Netherlands with the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) 2018 Biennial Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town. At this opportune event, a trade mission of Dutch water experts will be attending  to engage with and understand the current challenges in order to co-create sustainable solutions together.

“We look forward to partnering with WISA in their mission to manage, preserve, treat and provide water. The Netherlands has expertise for solutions which addresses water efficiency and water re-use, for example in agriculture and industry, as well as water monitoring, groundwater management and reservoir maintenance. We need to do more with less water, and we need to do this together. By building long-term partnerships with Dutch water experts and local key stakeholders, and by putting the local context at the core of all conversations, we aim to co-create real long-term change that is locally sustainable,” said Bonnie Horbach, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Previous water initiatives undertaken by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa includes: 

The commitment of the Netherlands to the South African water sector is long-standing and finds its basis in an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Water & Sanitation and the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. This MoU will be renewed in 2018. One of the collaborative programs initiated under this MoU is the Kingfisher program. Through the unique Kingfisher program, the Dutch Water Authorities work together with South African partners on integrated water resource management.

In addition, the Netherlands engages in the SA water sector through:

The Dutch government has funded the Centre of Expertise, a partnership between the Netherlands and the municipalities of South Africa that aims to strengthen South Africa’s urban water sector by matching Dutch knowledge and technology with the urban water management needs. Several pilots are still ongoing throughout the country on municipal water challenges and the Netherlands is engaging with our partners from the municipalities to continue our engagements through capacity building and knowledge exchange.

  • Development of the Franschoek Water Hub

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is also collaborating with the Western Cape Provincial Government on the development of the Franschoek Water Hub- an innovation hub that will bring government, private sector, civil society and knowledge institutions together in co-creating solutions for local water problems. The City of the Hague and the City of Cape Town are both members of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative and are identifying possible collaboration avenues in ensuring the ongoing resilience building (including water resilience building) of their respective cities.

  • The 2017 Volvo Ocean Race Water Trade Mission

The City of The Hague, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency gathered at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Cape Town, for an economic trade mission from 27- 30 November 2017.​ ​The purpose of the mission was to learn from one another in the following areas: port development, fishing, fostering cooperation between Dutch and South African startups and pooling knowledge regarding common challenges such as the rising sea level and coastal defenses. In addition to knowledge exchange, the trade mission also aimed to promote mutual trade and investment.

In addition, Five students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and five students from Fontys University, joined forces to #cocreateDESIGN by creating functional objects that drew attention to the plight of plastic pollution in the ocean. The initiative formed part of V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival which took place during the Volvo Ocean Race’s Cape Town stopover. #cocreateDESIGN will took place between 27 November -1 December 2017 in the V&A Waterfront at Quay 6.

In February of this year,  #cocreateDESIGN continued with a design thinking festival centered around the challenge to co-create #beyondthecrisis. #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL-2018 aimed to learn from the public, architects, artists, activists, educators, developers and politicians about what it means to act today to effect positive change. The challenges in the area of water were a key part of the discussions.

  • The 2017 #cocreateMYCITY Durban

During the 10-day event, students and experts from the Netherlands and South Africa joined forces to come up with achievable, smart and innovative solutions to real-life Durban challenges in each of the five sectors of key Dutch expertise (water, transport and logistics, agriculture, health and renewable energy). At the final day (23 November), aptly themed City of the Future, experts from business, government and knowledge institutes from all sectors joined to discuss climate smart water solutions. Concrete follow-up conversations have been planned with the Municipality of Durban.

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