Delft, The Netherlands, 19 Sep 2022

South Africa’s Umgeni Water plans learning academy modelled on IHE Delft

South Africa could in the future be home to water and sanitation education and training facility modelled on IHE Delft, members of a delegation from the state-run Umgeni Water company said at the end of a benchmarking visit to the Institute.

Umgeni Water is the largest supplier of bulk potable water in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. An 11-member delegation from the company, led by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo, visited IHE Delft on 7 and 8 September as part of working visit to the Netherlands.

At IHE Delft, the delegation met with IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors and several other staff members to gather information and insights to support Umgeni Water’s plans to create a Learning Academy for water education and training in South Africa.

“The Umgeni Water’s Learning Academy vision is to be a mini IHE Delft in Africa,” said  Peter Thompson, Umgeni Water Services Managing Director. “We’d like to model ourselves on this institution, which we’ve found to be flexible and agile. We see ourselves as a University of Practice, where we take practical knowledge and experience and share it with people who are yearning for that knowledge and need it to improve water and sanitation in Africa.”

Umgeni Water Board Chairperson Ziphozethu Mathenjwa said that the manner IHE Delft integrates theory and practice was a good model for Umgeni Water to follow: “This will result in better management of water resources, enhanced sanitation services and better service delivery,” she said.

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