Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate Recognized as Africa’s First Leading Utility of the World Member

2 mins read
water and sanitation directorate leading utility of the world

Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has achieved a significant global milestone by being recognized as Africa’s first Leading Utility of the World (LUOW) member. LUOW is an exclusive international network comprising the most successful and innovative water and wastewater utilities, and Cape Town’s inclusion has put Africa on the LUOW map. LUOW membership is considered the gold standard in utility performance.

Unveiling of LUOW Membership in Berlin

This remarkable achievement was announced during an award ceremony held in Berlin. Cape Town joined Athens and Milan as the newest members of the network, which currently has 66 members. Membership is valid for five years and can be renewed upon demonstrating ongoing performance improvements and progress on stated commitments.

Three Years of Diligent Work to Attain LUOW Membership

Over the past three years, the City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has been diligently working towards this momentous accomplishment. To attain LUOW membership, a utility must demonstrate outstanding achievement and innovation in at least three aspects of utility management and possess an ambition to continually drive performance.

Outstanding Performance in Three Areas

Cape Town’s recognition by LUOW was based on its exceptional performance in three areas: response to drought, network operations and financial management, and commitment to implementing the City’s forward-looking water strategy.

The city effectively addressed the 2015-2018 drought, an extraordinary 1-in-590-year event, by reducing water demand by 55% through various technical, financial, and communication measures. The citizens of Cape Town also played a vital role in changing their water use habits, contributing to the city becoming the world’s number one water-saving city.

In addition, Cape Town’s innovative network operations employed advanced water pressure management techniques, which saved 70 million liters per day at the peak of the drought in 2018. The City was also praised for its sustained financial performance, which involved increasing collection rates to fund an ambitious capital program while providing free basic services to 38% of its customers through formal water and sewerage connections and those in informal settlements.

Commitment to a Climate-Resilient City

Looking to the future, Cape Town is committed to becoming a climate-resilient city and achieving its vision of a city of hope. The Water and Sanitation Directorate is implementing a 10-year, R50 billion capital program focusing on water security, water pollution, and basic services.

Over the next three years, R18 billion has been allocated to improve water and sewage infrastructure, which includes major projects such as the R5 billion upgrade of the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works, the R1.9 billion upgrade of Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works, and the R1.1 billion allocation for sewer pump station upgrades.

Innovative Spirit and Knowledge Exchange

Cape Town’s ability to turn the drought crisis into an opportunity demonstrates its innovative spirit. The City’s membership in LUOW allows it to benefit from knowledge exchange seminars with other members, learn from their best practices, and share its practical experience within the international network and beyond.

With Cape Town setting an example for African cities, the region is well on its way to becoming a global leader in water and wastewater management. The journey ahead for Cape Town and the rest of Africa is full of potential, and the international water community will be closely watching the progress made by Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Empowering Rural Communities: South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Budget Vote 2023/24

Next Story

Independent Police Investigative Directorate Celebrates Victory in Drug-Dealing Case

Latest from Blog

Empowering Migrant Children in South Africa through the ChommY Initiative

South Africa is home to the largest population of child migrants on the continent, with an estimated 642,000 migrant children residing within its borders. The Department of Social Development, in partnership with USAID, seeks to address the challenges faced by this vulnerable population through the ChommY program.

Cape Town’s Urban Mobility Budget: Promoting Growth and Progress

Cape Town is currently undergoing an exciting transformation in its urban mobility landscape, with the Urban Mobility Budget serving as a driving force for a more connected and thriving metropolis. Spearheaded by the Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas, the City of Cape Town’s Urban Mobility Budget has been tabled for 2023/2024 to 2025/2026. This budget aims to enhance the city’s infrastructure by focusing on essential elements such as maintenance, congestion relief, public transport, and smart mobility.

Accelerating Sanitation Delivery in the Western Cape: The Role of the Provincial Sanitation Task Team

The Western Cape Provincial Sanitation Task Team (PSTT) is a Department of Water and Sanitationled initiative that aims to provide adequate and equitable sanitation to the citizens of the Western Cape. In this article, we will take a closer look at the PSTT’s role in accelerating sanitation delivery in the region, including its alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 target and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 vision.