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Building a sustainable road ahead in a changing landscape

Modernisation, beneficiation and community development are key elements that have to be addressed if the South African Development Community (SADC) is to be sustainable in what is a changing landscape.

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While the SADC region has significant quantities of minerals, and these are the drivers of the member country’s economies, the mining sector is experiencing the same problems as its counterparts worldwide.

With increasing energy demand, fluctuating precious metals markets, a shifting exploration landscape, subdued commodity prices and a gradual – not steep – recovery forecast, among others, the region will still have to find answers if it is to survive, never mind be sustainable.

The inaugural SADC Africa Mining Conference explored these opportunities through the insights from various industry experts.

Modernisation

The industry is in a tough place, concurs Roger Baxter, CEO of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. He believes the big challenge is that we continue to use conventional mining methods while we view modernisation as a threat; one that will do away with people. The answer, he says, is far more complicated than that and if we are to realise the potential of the SADC region we will need to migrate to modernisation.

“Modernisation holds massive cost benefits and will mean that mining can contribute to the economic development of region as a whole. If we modernised we would have 11 large gold mines and nine platinum mines that could be mined safety.”

However, without it what we have is a rapidly depleting resource that is costly but with declining jobs and limited export opportunities.

In fact the opposite is true. With modernisation, bigger ore bodies can be mined, job losses will be slowed down, skills will be developed, investment will flow in, and, if we manufacture the technology here, it will further mitigate job losses. “While this will take time – about 20 years – the impact on growth will be significant.”

Beneficiation

Charles Siwana, CEO of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, says mining companies need to position themselves into the lower quartile of the cost curve. He acknowledges that this is an easy statement to make, but a difficult one to carry out.

Next he says we need to tackle the infrastructure constraints we face, such as power interruptions. “Both the private and public sectors need to make themselves attractive to attract FDI. The private sector must indicate its ability to have a sustainable business that yields high returns, while governments must facilitate a conducive environment for such funds.”

The biggest opportunity for the region, in his opinion, is to beneficiate its raw materials instead of exporting them. “Africa has a history of exporting its raw materials and then importing the beneficiated goods back at a higher price. This has to stop.”

He adds that this will also help to close the gap when commodity prices do rise.

Mining communities

Mining community development is not succeeding, despite legislation and the intent of policies, with the benefits not being seen by the supposed beneficiaries.

So says Deepa Vallabh, director: cross border mergers & acquisitions: Africa & Asia, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer. She has counselled mining companies for 17 years and, in her experience, the social labour plan (SLP) of many mining companies is a tick-box exercise, not a strategic plan for long-term sustainable development.

Government shares her view that community development as not working. “If the community is not seeing the benefit or correlation than it means it is not working and this includes mining communities that form part of the equity structure. When mines have sustained losses no dividends are paid. To properly benefit communities, long-term investment is needed.”

Given the above, she says there are other questions that also need to be asked. “When it comes to community development, what is the end goal of that community… do they want to stay there, or is it about developing skills that will take them to urbanised areas?”

If urbanisation is key for our future growth, she asks, why are we continuing to develop communities as if they are going to live there forever? It will only be there for as long as the life of the mine.”

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Africa’s SADC urged to be innovative in seeking funding for water, energy

These recommendations were made at the end of a workshop held in Gaborone, Botswana, and was attended by SADC minister of water and energy resources and released Tuesday in a communiqué.

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The objective of the workshop was to facilitate exchange of ideas and forge practical and sustainable solutions in addressing energy and water challenges in the region with a view to map out a strategic direction and agree on a way forward.

The workshop observed that some of the challenges which are contributing to energy insecurity in the region are the focus on national self-sufficiency by member states, which leads to stretching the little resources and yield of minimum generation capacities.

“On a similar note,” the communiqué said, “Riparian States sharing a river basin are still inward looking and aiming at building national dams to meet their national needs which tend to be very expensive and create some competition within the river basin.”

Furthermore, the communiqué said despite the region’s abundant potential for hydro-power, solar power, wind power, coal and gas, it is experiencing energy insecurity because of poor investment in these energy sources.

According to the communiqué, lack of consumer education on efficient use of both energy and water is another cause of water and energy shortages.

The workshop proposed joint investments on strategic water and energy projects, citing the example of the Grand Inga hydropower project in the Congo basin that could contribute towards the regional energy supply if implemented.

Another recommendation was that a study should be carried out on transferring water from the water rich basins to the water stressed parts of the region through inter/intra basin transfers. Enditem

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South Africa: Value of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Exports On the Rise

Export value has increased and South Africa remains in a positive trade balance in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. Furthermore, the value of agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports increased from R135bn in 2014 to R144bn in 2015, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr Senzeni Vokwana told Members of the National Assembly (NA) during the Budget Debate on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently in Parliament.

He said exports from these sectors into other African countries increased from R59bn to R62bn and into Asia from R34.5bn to R37.1bn. “The department will continue to focus on increasing intra-African trade and other global trade opportunities,” stressed Mr Vokwana.

According to Mr Vokwana, the current contribution of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors towards the gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7% is far below the capacity of the sector. “At the same time we should also note agriculture boosts the GDP directly by 2% and by another 12% from related manufacturing and processing,” he said.

Mr Vokwana also told NA MPs that his department has allocated R381m towards drought relief following the reprioritisation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme and Ilima/Letsema Funds. “Our focus is on the provision of animal feed, drilling and equipping of boreholes for smallholder and subsistence farmers. Working with the provincial departments of agriculture, we have drilled 224 boreholes and 78 have been successfully completed,” said Mr Vokwana.

He said the Land Bank has also made available an amount of R400m for concessional loans to commercial farmers affected by the drought. Through the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), according to Mr Vokwana, the Department of Agriculture has introduced a drought-tolerant maize seed. “In the financial year 2014-15 the ARC distributed 10 000 seed packs to smallholder farmers in various provinces.”

The total value of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ budget vote for 2016-17 is R6.333bn of which R3.292bn is ring-fenced for transfers of conditional and Parliamentary Grants. According to Mr Vokwana, the terms and conditions of the grants are that R1.6bn has been allocated to the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, R491.4m to Ilima/Letsema and R69.3m to the Landcare Programme. In terms of Parliamentary Grants, R241.8m has been allocated to the Marine Living Resources Fund, R813m to the ARC, R35m to the National Agricultural Marketing Council and R5.935m to Ncera farms.

Speaking in the debate, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Machwene Semenya called on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to refocus its efforts on supporting farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers in the post-drought period by means of a post-drought recovery plan that will ensure South Africa’s food security status both nationally and at the household level.

“The department should make concerted efforts in supporting subsistent and smallholder production as this is crucial in the revitalisation and transformation of our agricultural sector,” said Ms Semenya.

She urged the department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to refocus its activities on the high impact projects that will grow the economy, create jobs and ensure food security in line with the policy priorities outlined in the National Development Plan and in the 2016 State of the National Address of President Jacob Zuma.

She praised the ARC in its ground-breaking work on the development of the heartwater vaccine as well as the drought-tolerant seeds. “These developments will prove to be a game changer for South African producers and could greatly improve access to export market,” said Ms Semenya

Ms Annette Steyn, who is also the member of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and who also participated in the debate, reminded NA MPs about the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) declaration of the SADC as a drought disaster area and its calling upon the national governments, international aid organisations and the private sector to assist in ensuring food security for 50 million people affected by the drought.

In contrast, according to Ms Steyn. the South African government failed to respond to such a call. “Thirty-four million South Africans were without water during February when we experienced record high temperatures. It is not believable that 56% of South Africans could be without water and that is not declared a national disaster,” said Ms Steyn.

She said according to the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, it is estimated that time that approximately 65 000 animals had already died or had to be slaughtered because farmers could no longer afford to feed them. “No real assistance to farmers was given and the feed that was provided was totally inadequate to feed the animals,” said Ms Steyn.

Ms Steyn also highlighted the rising trend of farm murders. “This week again two farmers were murdered in Vryheid. It brings the total of farmers murdered in April alone to four. If we do not deal with farm murders we won’t have farmers to plant and we won’t have food in our country.”

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Regional tourism set for growth, but not everyone is happy

The rise of the middle classes in emerging markets seems to be fueling growth in travel and tourism, a sector that is set for massive growth in the next decade despite various challenges.

Travel and tourism in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) made a direct contribution of US$19.2 billion (2.9%) to the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, and this contribution was due to reach 5% in 2014, representing about US$20 billion, according to a 2014 report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

This direct contribution, which primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services, is set to rise to 5% each year between 2014 and 2024, and reach US$32.9 billion by 2024.

The report forecasts a decade of massive growth in every aspect of this sector worldwide, with SADC’s total contribution to the world GDP and total employment set to reach US$92 billion (down from US$55.3 billion in 2013) and 6.86 million jobs (down from 5.33 million in 2014) in 2024, respectively. SADC countries, which invested US$9.2 billion in 2013 to boost the sector, are expected to fork out US$12.9 billion over the next 10 years to help the sector stay afloat and make a significant impact on the world stage.

Mixed fortunes

While the sector overall continues to perform well in other parts of Southern Africa, not everyone in this region of 270 million people is happy about the growth.  The following two case studies can duly demonstrate that yesterday’s losers have become today’s winners.

South Africa

South Africa’s tourism industry figures have been grim when compared to previous years, and even the country’s positive entrepreneurs operating in the sector are said to be finding their perennial optimism strained.

While the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed a 21% year-on-year decline in air ticket revenue for tickets bought to South Africa in July this year,  Grant Thornton has estimated that South Africa would receive 100 000 fewer overseas tourists in 2015.

A research report by Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has suggested that the lower tourist numbers could result in as many as 9 300 jobs losses in the tourism industry and a total net loss to the country’s GDP of approximately R4.1 billion (about US$380 million) in 2015.

Business Partners Limited (BPL) Executive Director Gerrie van Biljon says new visa regulations issued by the South African government are the new barriers and a setback to the tourism industry.

“These effectively require many prospective visitors from countries such as China and India, to travel hundreds of kilometres in their own countries to one of the isolated offices that handle South African visa applications,” van Biljon explains.

Namibia

In Namibia, where tourism constitutes the third largest contributor to GDP after mining and fisheries and agriculture, 1.176 million international tourists in  2013 were hosted, from a mere 272 000 in 1995, according to with the World Tourism Organisation’s Yearbook of Tourism Statistics.

However, international tourism’s monetary value (receipts), which reached US$560 million in 2010 (from US$511 million in 2009) and went up to US$645 million in 2011, unbelievably decreased to US$598 million in 2012 and further fell to US$524 million in 2013.

Nevertheless, some critics said the rise of the tourism in Namibia means nothing as long as the mass of tourism enterprises, the group of small firms continue to be marginalised in policy processes.

“The mass of Namibian SMEs have limited marketing and funding capacity which makes it difficult for them to compete with larger enterprises, and this inequality in power also extends to the inability of SMEs to influence the process of policy formulation,” E Nyakunu and Prof CM Rogerson, of the School of Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Johannesburg, wrote on Tourism policy analysis: the case of post-independence Namibia.

Current situation

SADC, which regrets that tourism in the region has not received appropriate attention from governments, openly admitted that governments have not prioritised or budgeted for development of the industry.

Perhaps bearing in mind that previous tourism strategies for the region have proved unsuccessful, lacking effective marketing initiatives or prioritising areas at odds with SADC’s overall objectives, and that few investment incentives and disparate policies have created barriers to cross-border travel, the organisation launched the Protocol on the Development of Tourism in 1998.

SADC Protocol on the Development of Tourism

The aim, SADC said, was to establish tourism as a priority for Southern Africa and sets out its intention to use it as a vehicle for sustainable development.

This Protocol urges Member States to improve their quality of service, safety standards and physical infrastructure as a means of attracting tourism and investment into the region.

Therefore, the Protocol encourages cooperation between governments and private developers through a favourable investment climate that promotes sustainable tourism, preserving the region’s natural and cultural resources.

In terms of infrastructure, some Member States have already responded to this call.

Sani Pass

For instance, a 33km Sani Pass gravel twisting road between South Africa and Lesotho is currently being asphalted to act as a magnet to boost visitor numbers in these two countries.

Mpaiphele Maqutu, Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation CEO, said once completed in 2016, the road would act as an attraction to a broader base of tourists and bring new prosperity and economic development to the kingdom.

“This project will bring to life what was envisaged when the South African and Lesotho governments agreed that tarring the road made sense-both from an environmental and economic viewpoint,” Maqutu said.

The project’s cost is estimated at R887 million.

Hope at the end of the tunnel?

Despite the region’s industry facing several challenges and going through rough paths, WTTC forecasts about the next decade offer some hope and instill some impetus among the region’s tourism players.

Industry watchers have urged companies, especially SMEs, to start innovating if they want to continue operating.

BPL’s van Biljon said: “Tourism entrepreneurs should use any lull in the business to rethink and rework their product offering, costs and marketing so that they are ready when the tide turns, as it always does.”

He added: “Tourism businesses that had been focusing on international tourists need to work on providing enticing packages for the local market to fill as many beds and seats as possible if the international tourists aren’t coming in the numbers that they used to.”

As if desperate times call for desperate measures, the Namibian government has called for collective and innovative actions to continue to sustain tourism in the country.

It also urged companies to develop new customer segments and new markets when traditional source markets are in troubled times. τ

Source: southernafrican


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Meeting of SADC Ministers Responsible for Water

1. Ministers responsible for the Water Sector from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States met on 3rd July 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe to review progress and provide guidance on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) 2011-2015.

2. The RSAP III is the framework for action to achieve the sustainable development of water resources in the SADC region through the development of water infrastructures on the basis of sound water governance and water management.

3. The SADC Water Minsters meeting was preceded by preparatory meetings of senior officials in the water sector and those from the Okavango River Basin Watercourse Commission (OKACOM), the Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM), and the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM).

4. Taking advantage of the presence of Ministers, the Ministers from the OKACOM and the ZAMCOM met on 2nd July ahead of the SADC Water Ministers meetings to clear and approve several strategic documents.

5. The meeting was officially opened by Zimbabwe’s Minister for Environment, Water and Climate, Hon. Saviour Kasukuwere who expressed gratitude to the honourable members of the SADC Ministers Responsible for Water for having accepted the invitation to attend the meeting.

6. Speaking on behalf of the SADC Secretariat, the Director of Infrastructure and Services Directorate, Mr Remigious Makumbe paid tribute to the ministers for their continued guidance to the implementation of the water programme.

7. Mr. Makumbe also paid tribute to all SADC cooperating partners and Member States, for their support to the regional water programme.

8. The Meeting was attended by the following Ministers responsible for Water and/or their representatives:

Angola: Hon. Luis Filipe da Silva, Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy and Water

Botswana: His Excellence Kenny Kapinga, High Commissioner to Zimbabwe

Lesotho: Hon. Lincoln Ralechate Mokose, Minister of Water

Mozambique: Hon. Carlos Bonete Martinho, Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources

Namibia: Hon. John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry

Swaziland: Hon. Jabulile Mashwama, Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy

South Africa: His Excellence Vusi Mavimbela the Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Tanzania: Eng. Mbogo Futakamba, Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Water

Zambia: Hon. Charles Zulu, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy and Water Development

Zimbabwe: Hon. Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate

9. The Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republics of Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, and Seychelles sent apologies.

10. In attendance also, were representatives from the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW), ZAMCOM, Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASCEOM), OKACOM, Southern African Research and Documentation Centre I Musokotwane Environment Resource Centre for Southern Africa (SARDC IMERCSA), Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWP-SA), and WaterNet.

11. Ministers noted that the implementation of the SADC Water programme continued to register remarkable progress despite human resource capacity challenges at the Secretariat, and urged member states to continue facilitating the implementation of programmes that were lagging.

12. Ministers noted that three out of the 15 Programmes in the RSAP III did not receive resources to facilitate their implementation. The three programmes are on water quality and environment, economic accounting for water use, and assessment of surface water resources.

13. Ministers adopted the report on the Mid-Term Evaluation on the implementation of the RSAP III and the Protocol on shared watercourses which was conducted in 2014 by independent consultants. The report highlights achievements and challenges faced in implementing the RSAP III and describes the SADC Water Programme as a unique regional programme that helped to build and instil a spirit of cooperation in transboundary water resources management and development, and facilitated discussions and engagements between riparian states at the basin level, and across the region through water weeks and Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogues.

14. Ministers reviewed and approved the draft structure and content of the fourth Phase of RSAP which is currently being developed, and directed SADC Secretariat to finalize the strategy in collaboration with the Water Resources Technical Committee (WRTC) members. The RSAP IV will run from 2016 to 2020.

15. Ministers also encouraged Member States to participate in on-going consultations on thematic topics to be included in the RSAP IV.

Consultations on issues to include in the RSAP IV have been on-going during the SADC National Water Weeks which have so far been conducted in 11 of the 15 member states. The SADC National Water Weeks are scheduled to take place during the month of July in the outstanding four member states.

16. Ministers also reviewed and approved the list of priority intervention areas for the water sector programme for the 2016/17 budgeting and planning year.

17. Ministers reviewed the status of implementation of projects in the various river Basins in the SADC Region, namely the Okavango, Limpopo, Orange-Senqu, Buzi, Save, Ruvuma, Zambezi, Kunene, Cuvelai, Incomati/Maputo and Pungwe, and commended the state parties of the basins for the progress made in implementing various projects.

18. On water projects in the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan: Ministers noted that the Secretariat continued to promote the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) and its associated Projects through various means including investor conferences. Secretariat has prepared a list of priority projects from the Master Plan which are ready for investment financing and those that still required development and packaging so that they are easily accessible when promoting them to potential financers.

19. Ministers urged Member States to continue supporting the process of promoting projects to financers by availing information to facilitate project development, packaging, financing and subsequent implementation.

20. Ministers further noted that SADC Secretariat continued to support implementation of the Lomahasha/Namaacha joint cross-border water supply project between Mozambique and Swaziland. The project aims to provide sustainable water supply and sanitation services to the communities living in the border towns of the two countries.

21. Ministers noted that the SADC Secretariat and GIZ were exploring different avenues for funding support of the Member States to undertake construction of the water supply schemes once feasibility assessment is completed for the Lomahasha/Namacha project.

22. On Joint Cross border water initiatives: Ministers noted that the SADC Secretariat in close collaboration with the Governments of DRC, Zambia and Tanzania, was conducting a study for cross-border water supply and sanitation schemes for the border towns of Kasumbalesa (DRC/Zambia) and Nakonde/Tunduma (Zambia and Tanzania). The study which is supported by the German Government in delegated cooperation with Australian and UK Governments is scheduled to complete by the end of July 2015.

23. Ministers urged the participating Member States to continue supporting the project, and to consider setting aside some funds as contribution, since some of the funding sources were likely to require a certain proportion of country contribution.

24. On Regional Water Supply and Sanitation: Ministers noted that a two-year Regional Water Supply and Sanitation project that was supported by African Water Facility of the African Development Bank (AfDB) was successfully completed in September 2014. The objectives of the project included establishment of a collaborative regional framework for effective planning and management of water supply and sanitation to enable the Member States to improve the provision of water supply and sanitation at country level.

25. On the Kunene Transboundary Water Supply and Sanitation Project: Ministers noted that implementation on the Kunene Transboundary Water Supply and Sanitation Project, which is a SADC pilot involving southern Angola and northern Namibia slowed because of new changes in the project scope and urged the two Member States and SADC Secretariat to fast-tract the project implementation in view of the time already lost and the delayed benefits to the intended communities. The project entails development and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure for communities and towns in the project area. Another important component of the project is to establish and build the capacity of a water utility entity in the Kunene province in Angola.

26. On the SADC Hydrological Cycle Observing Systems (HYCOS) Project: Ministers noted the substantial progress in the implementation of the SADC HYCOS Project which was being implemented in collaboration with the SADC Climate Services Centre (SADC CSC), and directed the Secretariat to facilitate the speedy implementation of the Project and secure additional financial resources to support the implementation of the fully fledged next phase of SADC-HYCOS.

27. On Sustainable Ground Water Management Project in SADC: Ministers commended the Secretariat for securing a total of USD 10.2 million comprising USD8.2 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the World Bank and USD 2.0 million from the Cooperation in International Water in Africa (CIWA) Trust Fund to implement a five-year programme which will be a follow up to the SADC Groundwater and Drought Management Project that was piloted in the Limpopo basin from 2009 to 2011. The implementation of the Groundwater programme which will be hosted at the University of Free State (UFS) is scheduled to start as soon as recruitment of the Director to serve as a Project Manager is completed by the end of July 2015.

28. On Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Demonstration Projects: Ministers noted that SADC Secretariat continued to facilitate implementation of the IWRM Demonstration Projects in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and that implementation of the infrastructure components was already advanced in Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia.

29. Ministers urged SADC Secretariat to assist the participating Member States to fast-track the implementation the projects to ensure that all activities were completed by the end of the project in September 2015, so that the communities benefit, and lessons learned be shared with other Member States in the region.

30. Ministers further noted that the SADC Secretariat was collaborating with the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) to support the SADC Water Sector in implementing infrastructure-related projects in the RSAP III and as several small-scale water supply projects in member states.

31. On Capacity Building and Training Programmes: Ministers commended SADC Secretariat for contributing to the development of technical and other skills through post-graduate programmes offered by WaterNet, a subsidiary of SADC, and short courses conducted by the Water Sector.

32. Minister noted that 30 professionals from Member States and River Basin organizations were trained in November 2014 on Negotiation Skills in Transboundary Water Management and International Water Law, in addition to several short courses conducted by WaterNet and SADC Water Sector.

33. Ministers noted that during the reporting period WaterNet received a total of 339 applications for sponsorship for the 2015/2016 intake to the WaterNet IWRM Masters Programme, and that 28 scholarships with funding from the Dutch Government were awarded to nationals from all SADC Member States except, Angola and islands States as no applications were received. At least two scholarships were granted to each Member State.

34. Ministers also noted that most of the WaterNet graduates held hold positions in water departments in the member states and urged member states to make adequate budgetary provisions in their training and capacity building programmes to support at least one candidate from own resources to participate in the WaterNet Masters on IWRM Programme.

35. Ministers commended SADC Secretariat for developing a comprehensive Strategic Human Capacity Development Plan (SHCDP) which will also be mainstreamed into the RSAP IV. The SHCDP was developed with support from the German Government in delegated cooperation with Australia and UK governments and SADC Secretariat is currently mobilising resources to roll out the plan.

36. Ministers reviewed and approved the draft SADC Water Research Agenda, and directed the Secretariat to work in close collaboration with WaterNet and Southern Africa Network of Water Centre of Excellence (SANWATCE) to facilitate its finalization and implementation.

37. On Gender Mainstreaming in the Water Sector: Ministers noted that in-line with SADC policy instruments which required all SADC water institutions to integrate the principles, goals and objectives of gender mainstreaming in their administration and implementation programmes, a two-year project on Gender Mainstreaming in Transboundary Water Management was being implemented.

38. Ministers further noted that during implementation of the project which comes to an end in August 2015, Ministries responsible for Water nominated Gender Focal Persons in their Ministries to facilitate and coordinate gender mainstreaming in the water sector.

39. Ministers encouraged Member States to provide support to the Gender Focal Persons in order to sustain the gender mainstreaming activities within the water sector.

40. On Awareness and Communication initiatives: Ministers noted the progress made in enhancing awareness and communication on water issues in SADC which included, among others, Media Awards, Media Training on Water Reporting, and Awareness Videos Productions.

41. Ministers commended SADC Secretariat for playing a major role in communicating water issues in the region and encouraged Member States to facilitate the efforts by sharing information on water issues from SADC Water meetings within their departments, ministries and with the media.

42. Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM): Ministers noted that the ZAMCOM Council of Ministers meeting on 2nd July 2015, approved to increase each riparian country’s contribution to USD100 000 by 2020.

Currently ZAMCOM Member States contribute USD25 000 each year and from 2016 they are expected to start contributing USD60 000 and thereafter increase by USD10 000 each year until they reach USD100 000.

43. Ministers further noted that the ZAMCOM Council reviewed progress on the implementation of the ZAMCOM programme and approved various institutional and governance guiding instruments including the extension for the ZAMCOM Executive Secretary for three years.

44. Ministers also noted that Botswana will be the next chair for the ZAMCOM, taking over from Angola.

45. On Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM): Ministers noted that LIMCOM did not hold any meeting during the year 2013/2014 and that a number of activities stalled due to lack of guidance, a situation that put the funding by International Cooperating Partners (ICP) at risk.

46. Ministers urged the LIMCOM States to convene and resolve all pending issues including finalising the recruitment of the Executive Secretary for LIMCOM.

47. On the Orange-Senqu River Basin: Ministers noted that the Orange-Senqu Water Commission (ORASECOM) continued to implement its programme on water in the basin with support from a number of cooperating partners organised directly by the Secretariat and through SADC and commended the ORASECOM riparian Member States and the Secretariat for their success in the implementation of the ORASECOM work programme.

48. On Kunene and Cuvelai Basins: Ministers noted that Angola and Namibia concluded and signed the process to establish the Cuvelai Commission (CUVECOM) in-line with the provisions of the regional Water Protocol on Shared Watercourses in September 2014 and SADC Secretariat was mobilising resources to support the strengthening of the Commission.

Ministers also noted that Angola and Namibia are working out modalities to establish the Kunene Basin Commission.

49. On OKACOM: Ministers noted that OKACOM was in the process of reviewing its institutional structure to accommodate the Forum of Ministers as a regular structure of the OKACOM as the apex body.

50. On the Incomati/Maputo basins: Ministers noted that the process of establishing a Secretariat for the joint Incomati/Maputo basin in Swaziland was on going and pending the approval processes by Cabinet for Swaziland as the host.

51. On Support to mainstreaming youth into the water sector: Ministers noted that youth forums were being organized as part of the SADC Water Weeks to bring together youth groups and raise awareness on water sector activities and advocate for their involvement in water resources management issues.

Source: allafrica


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Southern Africa: SA Attends Meeting of SADC Water Ministers

Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, will today attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Ministers Meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The ministers, who represent 15 member states of SADC, will be reviewing the progress on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) 2011 – 2015.

The ministers are also expected to provide strategic and political guidance on the fourth phase of the SADC Water Programme (RSAP IV), which is currently under development.

Several meetings have been held among senior government officials representing the 15 member states of SADC in preparation of the meeting of ministers.

South Africa has over the years promoted cooperation within SADC on the sustainable management of water resources in the region and their use to unlock both social and economic development.

Water is an economic and social asset that must be harvested and utilised to provide adequate water supply, sanitation, energy, food security and industrial and infrastructure development across SADC.

In this regard, the country has several bi-lateral agreements with neighbouring states and SADC member states on water management, security and provision.

This includes the recently signed agreement with Zimbabwe during the State Visit to South Africa by Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe in April 2015.

The minister will be accompanied by senior officials of the Department of Water and Sanitation, some of whom have been engaged in the pre-negotiations in preparation for the Ministers meeting.

Source: allafrica


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