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    Report on Strategic Dialogue With WSAs

    Umgeni Waterís service area has been extended to include the entire Province of KwaZulu-Natal. This was through proclamation by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, and in response to a situation in some parts of the Province where water services provision is erratic or simply non-existent. This means Umgeni Water can now work in any part of KwaZulu-Natal, provided funds are made available to pay for the work it does and the current core business of the organisation is ring-fenced. In an endeavour to introduce Umgeni Water to WSAs and market the organisationís products, services and competencies, a Strategic Dialogue was convened on 9th March 2016 in Durban. Most of the WSAs in KwaZulu-Natal, along with representatives of civil society organisations, were present. The thrust of this dialogue was to brain storm together the current state of water resources, the state of reticulation infrastructure and the challenges that are hampering improved water services provision. Five questions were developed and given to breakaway groups to grapple with and point to possible solutions in presentations to a plenary session that was held later.

    This was both an eye-opener and an informative exercise as it assisted Umgeni Water to understand the extent of challenges that are being faced outside of Umgeni Waterís traditional operational area. A report that will be prepared and submitted to Umgeni Water Executives by the facilitator will assist in developing quick solutions. Importantly, though, this dialogue also created a platform for Umgeni Water to illustrate its skills and competencies which will ultimately be absorbed into the new regional water utility that is expected to be established in late 2017. Knowledge about the par excellence performance of Umgeni Water will instil confidence that the new water utility will be able to deliver products and services at a similar scale and standard as that of Umgeni Water.

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