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Inga Jacobs  
Terms of reference for a Directed WRC project: A National Water R&D and Innovation Roadmap for South Africa

The Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) ten-year plan "Innovation towards a knowledge-based economy" recognizes the importance of science and technology in improving the country's competitiveness and economic growth. The strategies provided by government recognize that the water sector can provide opportunities for job creation and economic development, particularly in areas of water treatment and wastewater beneficiation.

A national viewpoint is required to provide a ten year roadmap for innovation in the water and wastewater sectors of South Africa.

The Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa funds both fundamental and applied research. It is a multi- and inter-disciplinary organisation which has a complete and up to date catalogue of the work it has funded during its 40 years of existence. The DST is mandated to stimulate the economy of South Africa through investment in Science and Technology throughout the value chain from blue sky research, through the National Research Foundation, to the commercialisation of research through the Technology Innovation Agency.


The aims of the programme are to:

1.    Provide a platform for South Africa to be the best in the developing world in water technologies and to compete with leading countries in providing sustainable solutions.

2.    Provide at least one breakthrough technology every five years.

3.    Increase the numbers of small and medium sized enterprises (SMMEs) operating in the water sector,  - as the aim  to increase job creation, drive economic development  and provide appropriate water solutions for all.

4.    Increase access to water for rural communities, and include sanitation provision for all in a sustainable manner.

5.    Understand, map and develop a HCD programme to encourage and support the different skills and capacities required along the R&D Water value chain.

The scope of the work is to include water and/or wastewater as appropriate. The scope will be defined by the sector itself through the workshops which form part of Phase 1. A desktop study is available for the collation of existing data regarding ARD in South Africa via interaction with roleplayers in the country, and the utilization of other, similar research (e.g. Middleton and Bailey, 2008; WRC report no. TT 513/11). Read more

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