STAKEHOLDER UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT

Stakeholder Interaction

One of the pillars that underpin Umgeni Water’s core business is regular and relevant stakeholder engagement. This is a requirement in terms of legislation and Shareholder expectations but Umgeni Water, for its part, also conducts stakeholder interaction on a voluntary basis, exceeding by far the minimum requirements.

The organisation employs an array of communication tools to interact with its stakeholders, among them, engagements, meetings, briefing sessions, media conferences and statements, seminars, workshops, internal publications and surveys.

Key to Umgeni Water’s stakeholder engagement is its unwavering adherence to the organisational Stakeholder Communication Strategy, which stratifies stakeholders into four categories: Statutory, Strategic, Contracted and Non-Contracted, with clearly defined levels of interaction by the Board, Executive Management and Management and the nature of information to be provided and received.

The Stakeholder Communication Strategy ensures that the information provided by Umgeni Water is accurate and relevant, and that feedback is received and responses provided timeously.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation is the Executive Authority (EA) of water boards, including Umgeni Water, and is mandated to monitor performance with regards to service delivery, operational efficiency, water quality, infrastructure investment, financial and commercial viability and governance and regulatory compliance. This EA oversight role is exercised in terms of stipulations of the relevant sections of the Water Services Act, Act 108, amended in 1997 (WSA), the Public Finance Management Act, 1 of 1999 (PFMA), as well as Regulations Gazetted in terms of these Acts and other relevant legislation and policy requirements.

Table 8.1: Umgeni Water Stakeholders and Basis for Engagement.

Statutory Stakeholders

Stakeholders who have a regulatory or oversight function over Umgeni Water and with whom the organisation is required to interact on a regular basis in order to ensure that statutory reporting requirements are met.

  • Minister of Water and Sanitation,
  • Department of Water and Sanitation,
  • Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, and
  • National Treasury     

The Basis for Engagement: delivery on mandate, responsive to Water Services Act, Public Finance Management Act and other pertinent legislation and regulations, delivering strategy and plans aligned to Government outcomes and Executive Authority expectations, demonstrating adequate resource planning mobilisation, investing in water infrastructure, ensuring efficient water usage and conservation and water quality management, demonstrating a well-governed and efficiently run entity, ensuring performance with financial and predetermined objectives and

Strategic Stakeholders

  • Office of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal
  • KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government departments and notably MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
  • KwaZulu-Natal Planning Commission
  • South African Local Government Association
  • South African Human Rights Commission

The Basis for Engagement: affordable tariff, growth as a catalyst for economic expansion, delivery on mandate.

Contracted Stakeholders

There are contractual obligations between Umgeni Water and customers, employees and organised labour.

Existing Customers
  • eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality
  • iLembe District Municipality
  • Ugu District Municipality
  • Sisonke District Municipality
  • uMgungundlovu District Municipality
  • Msunduzi Local Municipality
Potential Customers
  • Newcastle Local Municipality
  • Amajuba District Municipality
  • Umzinyathi District Municipality
  • uThukela District Municipality
  • Other KZN Municipalities
The Basis for Engagement with customers: Service delivery agreements, assurance of supply, both quality and quantity, care and support, responsive to needs, tariff consultation, partnerships in socio-development initiatives and new products and services.
Umgeni Water was appointed Implementing Agent for the Department of Water Affairs to construct the Greater Mbizana Bulk Water Scheme, which has been handed over to the Alfred Nzo District Municipality for operation and management. The beneficiary of the scheme is the Mbizana Local Municipality.
  • Employees of Umgeni Water
  • National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union

The Basis for Engagement: Compliance with Collective Agreement, demonstrating relevance as an organisation that adds value to the sector, regular feedback and communication regarding sector issues and organisational performance, equitable jobs, fair labour practice, good working conditions, enabling work environment and communication, fair-market related compensation and service conditions and sound performance management and recognition system. Umgeni Water in turn expects engaged employees, productivity, delivery and return on investment.

  • Suppliers and Service Providers
  • Investors and other Financial Institutions

The Basis for Engagement: Compliance with legislation for fair and equitable procurement, supplier development, transparency, business opportunities, integrity, fair treatment, fair pricing, fair payment terms, partnerships in BBBEE and capacity building towards more inclusive economic participation and CSR, environmental management and supplier footprint reduction – water, energy and materials.

Non-contracted Stakeholders

Community and Civil Society Institutions

The Basis for Engagement: Umgeni Water demonstrating conservation and responsible use of resources, providing a clean and safe environment, exercising responsible citizenship, demonstrating transparency in corporate governance, creating jobs, providing information and opportunities. In turn Umgeni Water solicits a social licence to operate, recognition for creating value, respect for property and collaboration in protecting remotely situated water assets.

Chambers of Business

The Basis for Engagement: Umgeni Water providing assurance of supply, both quality and quantity, information on tariff, demonstrating responsible citizenship. In turn Umgeni Water solicits recognition for creating value, pollution prevention and safe-guarding of water supply resources.

Media and general public

The Basis for Engagement: Access to information, demonstrating accountability, transparency and good governance. In turn Umgeni Water expects responsible reporting and media integrity.

  • National Sector Institutions, among them, the South African Association of Water Utilities
  • International Sector Institutions

The Basis for Engagement: Exchange and expansion of water sector knowledge, partnerships and collaborative