The Netherlands and South Africa co-create solutions in water education

Publication date: Feb 01, 2019 11:51 AM

On 1 February a project was launched that will reduce water stress for over 12-million South African Citizens. The project, ‘Bridging the water: co-create to learn and experience’, aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the South African water sector in order to improve water management, water services and the livelihood of citizens. The project will be implemented in the coming years by a consortium from South Africa and the Netherlands under the leadership of the Durban University of Technology and Delft University of Technology. It is the first project in South Africa under the umbrella of the Orange Knowledge Programme.

“It really excites us as Durban University of Technology, being part of this community, to be part of this project. The Netherlands and South Africa have a long history of relations but for us this is the first collaboration project. The students we are graduating are not just graduating with a degree. As a university we have a responsibility to give them skills that can be used in the community and for employment”, said prof. Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement at DUT, in her welcome address.

Bridging-the-water’s main goal, to reduce water stress for over 12-million South African citizens, will be accomplished by introducing innovative and effective training methods, thereby enabling key water sector players to improve their customer service levels in water and sanitation. The project aims to achieve this by embedding an action-learning and co-creation approach in the form of living laboratories and practical training, which will involve students and employees of universities and municipalities. This approach will lead to sustainable knowledge transfer and cooperation amongst stakeholders, thus bridging the gaps between theory and practice, research and implementation, education and workplace, as well as engineers and operators.

Deputy mayor, Fawzia Peer, highlighted the need to have highly skilled employees within the municipality that can contribute to infrastructure and management in the water sector.

Mervin Bakker, Regional Director at Nuffic Neso South Africa elaborated: “We are excited that with the launch of this project, the Orange Knowledge Programme will also be set in motion. We look forward to facilitating cooperation and co-creation in education between South Africa and the Netherlands in the coming years and that we will jointly achieve sustainable results with a focus on having meaningful impact”.

Next to the project leaders Durban University of Technology and Delft University of Technology, the consortium consists of partners from South Africa: City of Cape Town, City of eThekwini, University of Cape Town, SALGA; and the Netherlands: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, World Water Academy, Centre of Expertise Water Technology Leeuwarden, Waterboard Brabantse Delta).

last modified Jul 31, 2019 12:43 PM