South Africa is one of the three most biodiverse countries in the world. It also constitutes the second largest economy in Africa, thanks to the wealth and diversity of its natural capital and water resources. Human development has, however, put severe strain on the environment and the functioning of its eco-systems. The quantity and quality of its natural resources, especially water, is becoming a priority concern. A concerted effort across all sectors is required to safeguard environmental integrity and resilience. This also aligns with the South African National Development Plan 2030 (NDP), which identifies the building of environmental sustainability and water resilience as a national imperative for economic growth.
Location: Richardsbay, KwaZulu-Natal
Aim: Improved management of water resources across industry, agriculture and communities
Background: The uMhlathuze River catchment area in KwaZulu-Natal encompasses the city of Richards Bay, extensive irrigated agriculture, forest plantations, industrial complexes and various mining operations. The area relies heavily on the availability of water: Industry underpins the local economy and agriculture is a significant employer of communities in the area.
Partners: National Business Initiative, WWF South Africa, Tongaat Hulett South Africa, Mondi and GIZ NatuReS, the City of uMhlathuze, the National Department of Water and Sanitation
Location: Eastern Cape
Aim: Implementing solutions to safeguard water security, livelihood strategies and economic investment while protecting upstream landscape integrity
Background: The Nelson Mandela Bay City Region in the Eastern Cape is the hub of the automotive industry in Africa. It is also central to the country’s tourism and agricultural export sectors. The ongoing drought therefore threatens the region’s economic development and the well-being of its inhabitants.
Partners: The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, Santam, the Department of Cooperative Governance, the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, the Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency and Living Lands
Location: Orange Senqu Basin
Aim: Establishing a cross boundary water stewardship platform to create long-term benefits for private and public sector stakeholders on both sides of the boarder
Background: Lesotho’s water resources are critical for the welfare of sustainable livelihoods, economic action and ecosystems protection of the country. As an important water source area for the Orange Senqu Basin, its catchment management initiatives also remain a vital life force for sustained economic and social security of other riparian countries as well as South Africa as the regional economic centre. The project allows to explore principles of sound water governance and effective integrated water resource management.
NatuReS working areas: Catchments
Partners: GIZ ICM Programme in Lesotho, SASOL., ESKOM, RANDWATER, etc.
Aim: Promoting extended access to value chains for smallholder farmers
Background: The Siyazisiza Trust is a non-profit organisation that provides support to smallholder farmers. Under UWASP, NatuReS supports the Siyazisiza Trust with the training and mentoring of smallholder farmers in Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). Covering the efficient use of resources, the trainings prepare them for an annual local GAP assessment. Passing this assessment enables smallholder farmers to access formal markets and supply their fresh produce.
Strategic Water Partners Network: A public and private platform for strategic water uses in South Africa
Water Resilient Cities Initiative: A learning collaboration together with South African Local Government Association, South African Cities Network, USAID WASH-FIN, 2030WRG and selected cities in South Africa
Resilient Economic Zones and Industrial Parks: Support embedding of water stewardship and resource use efficiency in industrial parks together with the Department of Trade and Industry and Innovation.
“Through the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme GIZ is partnering with various South African companies and collective initiatives to tackle the most pressing of societal challenges. Both SASOL and the Strategic Water Partners Network continues to benefit from this cooperation aimed to catalyse much-needed change. Our collective objective is to advance stewardship practices over things we don’t own but over which we collectively care a lot about. We sincerely thank GIZ and the NatuReS programme for this continued support.”
Martin Ginster – Sasol, private sector co-chair Strategic Water Partners Network
“The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber in South Africa is delighted to partner with GIZ’s NatuReS Programme. Through the Nelson Mandela Bay Stewardship Initiative a number of high-impact innovative solutions have been implemented. These include a contribution towards safeguarding water security, investments and livelihoods. We appreciate the role played by GIZ NatuReS in our region in catalysing economic development, including the green economy. We have also gained a number of critical stakeholders through this very partnership.”
Nomkhita Mona – Chief Executive Office of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber