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South African Business 2022

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Welcome to the 10th edition of the South African Business journal. First published in 2011, the publication has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to South Africa, supported by the website Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provinces. This issue has a focus on Special Economic Zones which are being rolled out across the country with specific economic areas of focus. The importance of the revival of minerals exploration and the significance of onshore and offshore gas discoveries is the subject of another special feature.


OVERVIEW Water Three-year programme will tackle dam storage problems. Darlington Dam in the Sundays River valley, Eastern Cape. Credit: Addo Elephant National Park Water loss in a water-scarce country is a serious business. The National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has appointed the Water Research Commission (WRC) to develop and manage the National Siltation Management Strategy for Large Dams. More than 90% of the country’s total storage capacity is carried by 321 large state dams, most of which are subject to serious sedimentation, which greatly reduces their carrying capacity. Expectations are that South Africa will have a 17% water deficit by 2030 and so the matter is urgent. Three government water schemes are the target of the pilot plan: Hazelmere Dam in KwaZulu-Natal; Darlington Dam in the Eastern Cape; and Welbedacht Dam in the Free State. Key deliverables include creating models for sustainable dredging and decision-making. The programme is intended to be complete by 2023. Leaking pipes account for a large portion of the water lost to South African municipalities in trying to serve their households and businesses. The simple expedient of reducing water pressure, which the City of Cape Town introduced during the period of severe water shortage that raised the spectre of “Day Zero”, reduced water use by 40%. Supplying water to households and businesses has often been a task beyond the capabilities of some of South Africa’s municipalities. The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) falls under SECTOR INSIGHT Managing water pressure can drastically reduce consumption. the National Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and will assist municipalities to plan for, provide and maintain infrastructure. The first action of MISA was to commission 81 engineers and town planners to get to work in areas that need the most help. In the North West, the revitalisation of the Vaalharts- Taung Water Irrigation Scheme will double the land available to emerging farmers, create more than 10 000 jobs during its implementation, resolve water shortages in local municipalities and provide certainty for producers of fresh produce. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2022 58

OVERVIEW The project was gazetted as one of the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) in 2020 and falls under the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC). The existing Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme is one of the largest irrigation schemes in the world, covering 39 000ha under irrigation, and extending it to Taung in the North West will give it even greater reach. The scheme currently has 1 000km of concrete-lined canals and more than 300km of concrete drainage. The Vaalharts Water User Association is headquartered in Jan Kempdorp, a town in the Northern Cape right on the border of the North West and at the centre of the scheme’s area of operations. The DWS has released a master plan in response to the severe droughts that have affected the country in recent years. It calls for annual investment for a decade of R3.3-billion in infrastructure to achieve water security. This is a figure that can only be achieved with the help of the private sector. The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC) is the technical partner for the water use part of Phase 2 of the Strategic Water Sector Cooperation between the governments of Denmark and South Africa. The NCPC, which runs the Industrial Water Efficiency project, has found that more efficient use of energy (a key focus area of its work) has also led to less water being used in production processes. Technology and innovation A new kind of water filtration system has been pioneered by a water entrepreneur from Limpopo, a system which puts macadamia nut shells to use. The brainchild of Murendeni Mafumo, the idea was first put into action in 2018 and has been used in schools and rural communities by Kusini Water. Powered by solar power, the purification system uses a carbon filter that is made from macadamia nut shells. Simpler technology is giving the pupils at a school in the same province access to drinking water. Students from the University of Pretoria’s Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology have helped to build a net in the mountains where Tshiavha Primary School is located. Fog is captured by a big net ONLINE RESOURCES National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa: National Department of Water and Sanitation: South African Water Research Commission: Water Institute of South Africa: and channelled into tanks by a gutter running along the bottom of the net. About 2 500 litres of water is captured per day which means that there is enough to share villagers. The province of KwaZulu-Natal is taking a lead in desalination technology. Richards Bay has installed a desalination plant next to the municipal water treatment plant at Alkanstrand. The first mobile sea water purification unit in South Africa, it comprises 10 containers and is located adjacent to the water treatment plant at Alkantstrand. It can deliver 10 megalitres of drinking water. A plant that makes water from air has been launched. Aqua Air Africa has established an atmospheric watergeneration plant at Ga-Rankuwa near Pretoria and is producing about 10 000 litres per day through a process that involves the condensation of water vapour into liquid. In an attempt to reduce the amount of water sucked up by alien plants, Coca-Cola aims to recover nearly three-billion litres of water through the removal of invasive plants. Another response to the municipal problem is a new national strategy which gives a bigger role to well-resourced water boards such as Umgeni Water and Sedibeng Water. In terms of the National Water Resource Strategy, catchment area management agencies have been established to oversee water resource management on a regional basis. ■ 59 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2022

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