SA participates in World Water Week

 

Luzamo Sandlana

 

From 25 to 30 August, TCTA joined more than 3 000 participants from over 100 countries at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference was organised by Stockholm International Water Institute.

 

TCTA formed part of the South African delegation supporting the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, and showcased the work that the Authority does in terms of contributing to water security in the country. 

 

Apart from the TCTA delegation, which included Chairperson of the Board Gerald Dumas and CEO Percy Sechemane, South Africa was also represented by a delegation from the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, led by Deputy Minister David Mahlobo who hosted a cocktail function for the delegation and international stakeholders.

 

The annual conference is a meeting place for scientists, policymakers, and the public and private sector.  The gathering offers an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and to foster new thinking around the most pressing water related challenges. 

 

“As we all know, this year’s conference theme is “Water for society – including all”, Deputy Minister Mahlobo said at the cocktail function. “This couldn’t be a more appropriate theme for us as South Africa and the African continent (at large).”

 

The Deputy Minister added that the South African and African delegations had lots to learn from their counterparts from across the world. But equally they had experiences and expertise to share. 

“The theme resonates with the objectives of South Africa’s transformation agenda in the water and sanitation sector, of ensuring that water for all and dignified sanitation services are delivered,” Deputy Minister Mahlobo said.

 

“Despite the successes achieved since 1994 with the provision of services to those South Africans previously denied these services, we still have significant and unacceptable levels of inequality and poverty.”

 

According to the World Health Organisation, across the world, three in 10 people lack access to safe, readily available water at home and six in 10 lack safely managed sanitation. The conference aimed to identify who is being left behind and why.

 

Deputy Minister Mahlobo also emphasised the role that women played in society, particularly in the water sector. This was part of his tribute to South African women, as the World Water Week event in Sweden coincided with women’s month in South Africa.

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