Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, David Mahlobo, is leading a delegation from the department and Umgeni Water officials to the Netherlands for a benchmarking exercise for the Umgeni Water Learning Academy.
The eleven-member delegation, which includes Umgeni Water Board chairperson, Gabsie Mathenjwa, will visit The Hague Academy and the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education to enhance bilateral engagements, and undertake benchmarking activities.
The visit takes place from 5 – 9 September.
In its five-year corporate plan (2022 – 2027), Umgeni Water has a vision to form a world class learning academy.
Mathenjwa said the plan’s targets are founded on the long-term aspirations, as articulated in Umgeni Water’s strategy, which commits to the following:
In 2030, South Africa needs to be served by a set of sufficient, financially sound, and well governed State-owned enterprises that address the country’s developmental objectives;
By 2030, all South Africans have affordable access to sufficient safe water and hygienic sanitation to live healthy and dignified lives, and
By 2050, Umgeni Water will be a global leader in the sustainable provision of water and related services.
Mathenjwa said Umgeni Water has recognised the need to have collaborative efforts with leading institutions that will enable it to achieve these aspirations and targets.
“Our travel to the Netherlands, as led by Deputy Minister Mahlobo, will be beneficial in terms of understanding the critical components of establishing a learning academy, identifying business models and processes for sustainability, as well as entering into partnership agreements with leading world class institutions in this field,” Mathenjwa said.
The Hague Academy assists municipalities around the world with democracy and water governance, capacity building and training.
The academy mostly trains civil servants, municipalities, State-owned entities and NGOs.
The IHE-DELFT institution is an institute for water education and is the largest international graduate water education knowledge centre on water infrastructure, technology and sciences.
It attracts high-level students and scientists from around the globe, and offers approximately 80 courses, which focus on education, research and capacity building.