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Water Research Commission and SALGA launch the Water Technology and Innovation Forum





Posted: 29 September 2020

The Water Research Commission (WRC), in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) have launched the Technology Innovation Forum (TIF) which is one of seven platforms under the Local Government Integrated Water and Sanitation Technology and Innovation umbrella. The purpose of the TIF is to serve as a platform that will explore the challenges and opportunities for advancing the technology landscape at municipal level. Key to its function will be serving as a collaborative platform for municipal partners to share their innovation needs, mobilise partnerships and jointly conceptualise programmes, projects and funding including peer to peer learning and knowledge exchange on innovative solutions. Further to that, the TIF envisions embracing the District Development Model as a mechanism to enhance technological solutions in municipalities.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the TIF, Chief Executive of the WRC, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo highlighted that the partnership-led forum sought to enable some critical pillars, among these being, “ setting up and expanding a network of testbeds for ground-breaking water and sanitation solutions emanating from South Africa and the global Research Development and Innovation partnership. We want South African districts, towns, and cities to be among the leaders in sustainable Water and Sanitation solutions”, he said.

The first day of the two-day launch saw the ceremonial launch of the Forum which focused on the value proposition and importance of technology and innovation. Wherein the president of SALGA Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng expressed SALGA’s need to create a different paradigm shift in its approach to water management, by using the TIF to re-image the delivery of water and sanitation to communities. 

In her remarks, Cllr Nkadimeng emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership. “Without collaboration, this initiative would not have materialized. To sustain it and ensure its success, working partnerships between private and public sectors need to be nurtured”, she said.

The second day of the launch programme focused on showcasing technologies and innovations, while the closing plenary highlighted the investment, benefits and solutions in technology and innovation through a strategically crafted programme. In his closing remarks, WRC CEO Dhesigen Naidoo’s called for Local Government Technology and Innovation Forum to help stimulate the investments (financial and political) and actions of all role players to enable “municipalities to become the theatres of change and transformation to a better greener future.”

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