11 months ago

South African Business 2023

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A unique guide to business and investment in South Africa. Welcome to the 11th 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 a website at www. A special feature in this journal focusses on the importance of partnerships as the way forward for the country’s growing number of Special Economic Zones. There are now SEZs in eight provinces and collaboration between the private sector and government and its agencies is proving a crucial element in pursuing the goal of industrializing the South African economy. These zones intended as catalysts for economic growth in established sectors and in stimulating new industries. Regular pages cover all the main economic sectors of the South African economy and give a snapshot of each of the country’s provinces. The fact that South Africa’s law-enforcement agencies are arresting people alleged to have been involved in state capture and the Reserve Bank has started freezing assets in other matters leads the national overview because business can’t function properly without the rule of law. South African Business is complemented by nine regional publications covering the business and investment environment in each of South Africa’s provinces. The e-book editions can be viewed online at These unique titles are supported by a monthly business e-newsletter with a circulation of over 35 000. Journal of African Business joined the Global African Network stable of publications as an annual in 2020 and is now published quarterly.


OVERVIEW Water South Africa is investigating how best to use its groundwater. A mural depicting the water goddess Camissa by local artist Nadia Nardstar has been unveiled at the V&A Waterfront Cruise Terminal. Credit: John Young Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) might be one of the answers to the Cape metropole’s enduring water shortage. The idea of putting excess water into the Cape Flats aquifer during times of plenty – and then drawing on that water when drought hits – is the subject of a study by UCT’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Science. It’s not a new idea; the smaller Atlantis aquifer has been playing that role for decades. A country that is expert at using its groundwater resources has signed up to cooperate with South Africa in investigating how the much drier African country might exploit groundwater. Denmark gets nearly all of its water from groundwater and the latest intergovernmental agreement signed by South Africa and Denmark is a strategic green cooperation. Previous memorandums of understanding have dealt with energy, resilient cities – and water. Two huge and colourful murals have been created at the V&A Waterfront Cruise Terminal to publicise the groundwater partnership, one by a Danish artist and the other by a local artist. Nadia Nardstar took 15 days, with the help of an assistant, to create a depiction of the water goddess Camissa. The mural project is a collaboration between the Danish Embassy, the City of Cape Town, the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership, WWF and Maersk. 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 INSIGHT Councils owe water boards more than R10-billion. 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. Supplying water to households and businesses has often been a task beyond the capabilities of some of South Africa’s municipalities. As of June 2021, South African municipalities owed more than R10-billion to water boards. Leaking pipes account for a large portion of the water lost SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023 62

OVERVIEW 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%. The concept of non-revenue water (NRW) is a vital aspect in the sustainability of any operation or agency in the water sector. NRW can result from faulty metering and leaky pipes but in South Africa, non-payment is a big contributor to terrible NRW percentages. In some municipalities it is as high as 70% whereas Denmark’s NRW is routinely at or below 7%. The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) falls under 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. Improving dams 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. 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. ONLINE RESOURCES National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa: National Department of Water and Sanitation: South African Water Research Commission: Water Institute of South Africa: 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 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. 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 wellresourced 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. ■ 63 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023

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