[25 June 2018]  The Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the South African Department of Water and Sanitation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today during this year’s WISA 2018 Biennial Conference. The MoU provides for the establishment of a framework for cooperation in the field of water resources. By signing the MoU, both parties pledge their commitment for the continued and joint effort in the collaboration in the water sector.

The Netherlands and South Africa enjoy a long and productive relationship in the area of water management and sanitation. The first bilateral agreement was signed in 2013. This agreement was renewed in 2015 to solidify the collaboration which resulted in a strong partnership and the exchange of knowledge in many areas such as Catchment Management Areas (the focus of the Kingfisher project), youth empowerment (which is the focus of the Wetskills project) and other areas of water management nationally as well as locally. 

The MoU is also an extension of the commitment and contribution to the 2030 UN Agenda, which seeks to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.  

“South Africa and the Netherlands have a longstanding and constructive relationship in the water sector. Guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), we look forward to the opportunity of continuing this fruitful relationship and finding innovative solutions together,” said Henk Ovink, first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherland. 

In terms of the guidelines of the MoU and its water related goals, both parties will integrate the implementation of some of the following activities:

  • Strengthening water governance including strategies, planning, operations and monitoring 
  • Climate change adaptation; urban water management and water resilient cities
  • Water management in (transboundary) river basins 
  • Water efficiency; water re-use and use of alternative water resources in municipalities, agriculture and industry   
  • Groundwater management

A Joint Steering Committee on Water Resources consisting of both parties will ensure the implementation of the goals of the MoU. The committee will follow a holistic approach in membership to include representations from the private sector, non-governmental organisations and knowledge institutions. Together they will meet at regular intervals to assess and report on the progress of the MoU.

“The need for collaboration in improving water management has never been more relevant, given the current situation across South Africa. This partnership between South Africa and the Netherlands has already been proven mutually beneficial. By sharing experiences and developing joint projects, we can co-create a more water secure future,” said the Dutch Consul General Bonnie Horbach. 

For more info on the Dutch water missions in South Africa please contact

Stephanie de Beer (Embassy of the Netherlands): or Nichi Walker (Consulate General Cape Town):

Posted in 2018, News, WISA and tagged .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *