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Press Release 
Jay Bhagwan  
WRC provides support to measure municipal operational performance

On Tuesday, 24 June 2014 the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) officially released the Annual Report on Water Services as part of the Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (MBI) project initiated by SALGA in 2011 in partnership with the Water Research Commission (WRC), the Institution of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) and eThekwini municipality.  

The benchmarking initiative uses technological innovation through the introduction of a web based system called Munibench (www.Munibench.co.za) that provides an easy system to track municipal performance and makes comparative benchmarking between municipalities with similar profiling to improve performance. This is an initiative “for municipalities, by municipalities, to the benefit of municipalities”.  The MBI provides municipalities with a practical framework to examine, review and improve their water services business.

The CEO of WRC, Dhesigen Naidoo said “benchmarking has a special place. To measure is to know, to benchmark is to declare your intent, an intent to compare, to learn, and to improve. The development of the tool has already created a community of learning among practitioners and the on-line web-based Munibench tool will also ensure universal access opportunity for even the most remote district municipality”.

The project aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the water services delivery, strengthen performance measurement monitoring and measurement, build communities of practice between municipalities and forge relationships of mutual respect and trust so that performance tracking and reporting can be done.  “Benchmarking is not a new technique and I’m proud of the progress and innovation achieved in the water services sector” says Jay Bhagwan, executive research manager from the WRC.  He explained that South Africa is one of the first countries to introduce an incremental  approach to benchmarking allowing participating municipalities to participate at levels they perceived to benefit the most.

Currently there is growing levels of participation, enthusiasm and interest that will expand over the next five years that will improve the performance of water services sector.

During the event a memorandum of understanding was signed between SALGA and the WRC to continue with their working relationship on the MBI.

Contact: Mr Jay Bhagwan , Executive Manager ,Water Use and Waste Management  by email: jayb@wrc.org.za or cell : Cell: +27 83 290 7232




CEO of WRC Mr. Dhesigen Naidoo and the CEO of SALGA Mr. Xolile George, after signing a renewed MOU and also launching the MBI report
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