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April 24, 2017

Signing of Record of Discussions on Technical Cooperation Project with South Africa: Supporting technician training in the field of water supply

photosigning ceremony

On April 21, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a record of discussions with the Government of the Republic of South Africa in Pretoria, the capital city, for the Project for Strengthening the Training Capacity of IBTC on Non-Revenue Water, a technical cooperation project.

This project will develop the operations structure at the Infrastructure Branch Training Centre (IBTC) of the Department of Water and Sanitation and strengthen the training management capacity so that the IBTC can provide on-going training in the area of non-revenue water.

Due to a severe water shortage, South Africa is grappling with a national challenge to securing water resources. As one measure to address the water shortage, the Government of South Africa is advancing a plan to reduce the current non-revenue water ratio of 34.6%* (national average according to a December 2016 survey) of water facilities, but there are not enough engineers/technicians in the water supply sector, and even those who are available require further training to develop skills in the area of non-revenue water detection.

Over the three years from 2013 to 2015, Japan invited South African counterparts in the water sector for training at the Training and Technical Development Center of the Bureau of Waterworks, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Based on the favorable impressions and recommendations that participants had of the training equipment and other facilities available for practical training, the IBTC was established by the Department of Water and Sanitation in 2014 and began a training program to spread technology and knowledge through similar training in South Africa. However, operating such a training center unaided is not easy and there are many problems, such as an inadequate number of trainers/facilitators with the suitable knowledge and experience, and a lack of equipment. Given these circumstances, there is a need to strengthen the operations and management capacity for the training program using Japanese technical assistance so that practical training can be provided that meets the needs of the actual workplace such as the training provided at the Training and Technical Development Center.

This is the first technical cooperation project with the Government of South Africa in the water supply sector. The project aims to transfer non-revenue water countermeasure technology, a strength of Japan, and provide practical sustainable training at the IBTC. This project also plans to extend the training to local municipalities and district municipalities, which is expected to contribute to reducing the non-revenue water ratio throughout South Africa.

* The non-revenue water ratio is the percentage of water supplied by water purification plants that is not billed to customers.

[Basic project information]
Country Republic of South Africa
Project title Project for Strengthening the Training Capacity of IBTC on Non-Revenue Water
Planned implementation period June 2017 to May 2020
Executing agency Department of Water and Sanitation, Republic of South Africa
Target region, facilities Gauteng Province, where the IBTC is located
Specific project details (provisional) Training information organization and public relations, assistance in strengthening the organizational management of the IBTC, creation of a training implementation system to reduce non-revenue water, strengthening the sustainable training capacity at the IBTC


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