SA must invest in wastewater technology to curb water crisis, says analyst

Minister of Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu urged South Africans, at a media briefing on Monday, to use water sparingly in Gauteng and other regions while the government works on interventions to avoid a drought situation.

RELATED: Sisulu says government is formulating 'master plan' for water SA crisis

Bongani Bingwa talks to Water Research Commission Chief Executive Officer Dhesigen Naidoo, who says the government knew as early as the 1980s that it wasn't making the right infrastructure decisions regarding water.

In the 1980s we knew about the new technologies that we needed, we knew about recycling.

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO - Water Research Commission

Naidoo explains that the commission presented a new system, but it was not implemented.

South Africa has for a long time been on the wrong paradigm, he explains.

In the 80s and 90s, we should have switched to a recycling system where you can organise 80% of the water that we use to be recycled inside the system and that would greatly elevate the need for new water coming to the system.

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO - Water Research Commission

He says South Africa needed to move towards smarter ways in which the country deals with its waste.

Sanitation and the sanitation revolution should be the new thing that we need to be investing in. These shifts are what we need to do so that we have water security.

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO - Water Research Commission

He says reorganising South Africa's wastewater system will mean that the country gets quality water and deals with pollution at the same time.

Wastewater system plants of the future will give you clean water and more importantly, it will give you energy. In a country that has a duel crisis in water and energy, this is the kind of investment that we need to make.

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO - Water Research Commission

Listen below to the full conversation:


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