The entity’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme supports socio-economic development initiatives to improve community livelihoods and is driven through an approved CSI Policy. This ensures a co-ordinated approach in the implementation of CSI initiatives, which are clustered and prioritised in terms of the following categories:
- Education and Training;
- Job Creation;
- Public Health, Community Development
- and Support;
- Environmental Conservation; and
- Arts, Culture and Sport.
Umgeni Water also strives to help create a society that is aware of water as a finite and scarce resource. To this end, the entity develops and implements integrated water education and awareness programmes that drive home key water concepts to influence behavioural change.
Education and awareness programmes strive to instil sound values that will complement and ensure long-term sustainability of the water services that are provided. Programme content and themes are regularly reviewed to assess suitability and address current issues facing the region. Content targeted includes, the water cycle and source-tap source view of the water value chain, water use, water treatment, water conservation, water quality, sanitation and the water, health and environment nexus.
Programmes target rural and urban-based schools and communities and a wide range of learner levels. Suitable educational materials and mechanisms to facilitate communication are identified and implemented often in partnership with other sector stakeholders.
Water education and community outreach
Water, environment and health education and awareness, were delivered through three (3) target programmes during the reporting period:
- On Site Water Classrooms Programme;
- Schools and Community Outreach Programmes; and
- Adopt-A-School Programme.
On site water classrooms programme:
During the reporting period, a total of 101 classes were taught at the Durban Heights, Midmar and Howick sites, reaching 4 613 visitors and seventy-three (73) institutions, as part of Umgeni Water’s efforts to promote community well-being, knowledge and environmental stewardship through its Water Classrooms.
Visitors agreed that the programme was interesting and informative. Educators and
Lecturers commented that the content has a direct link to the curriculum and that the programme was a good opportunity for hands on extended learning as it supplemented the content taught theoretically in class. Active learning through recognition of prior knowledge and guided questioning ensured that learners were kept engaged and therefore enjoyed the programme.
Schools and community outreach programmes:
Umgeni Water’s education drives included outreach programmes to raise awareness around dam safety, pollution, water conservation and environmental health. Programmes implemented included awareness events, clean-up campaigns and commemoration of special environmental events. Highlights of the events are captured below:
- Dam Safety Awareness and river clean-up campaigns held in six (6) schools in the vicinity of Mvutshana Dam, ten (10) schools in the Hazelmere Dam and four (4) schools around Ixopo Dam to create awareness on water safety, conservation, pollution as well as health and hygiene. Communities were also educated about health and safety in the vicinity of Umgeni Water infrastructure, relating to dam safety and other precautionary measures in the unlikely incident of a chlorine spillage.
- Umgeni Water embarked on a three (3) day 5 km river walk along the streams in the greater Pietermaritzburg area, educating local communities on how to utilise basic scientific tools to monitor the quality of their local streams and be active citizens in keeping their local streams and waterways clean and safe.
- Umgeni Water, in collaboration with the Vukuzenzele Youth Development group led a clean-up of the Madakane River in Murchison (Port Shepstone) which involved over 200 community members.
Special environmental day commemorations
The Marine Week was commemorated in KwaCaluza and Imbali, where learners were educated on their role in protecting water resources, the marine life, oceans and the environment as a whole.
World Habitat Day was celebrated at Crammond, where a clean-up operation
involving over 300 community members, and more than 100 bags of litter were collected and disposed.
Umgeni Water, in collaboration with SANBI commemorated the International Day of
Biological Diversity where 200 learners and twelve (12) educators from six (6) schools around uMsunduzi Local Municipality were given awareness talks on various environmental issues.
The schools identified are adopted for a period of four (4) years. The distribution of the schools adopted includes four (4) schools within uMgungundlovu District Municipality, two (2) schools within Harry Gwala District Municipality, seven (7) schools in eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and seven (7) schools within iLembe District Municipality.
The adopt-a-school programme launch was held where all twenty (20) schools were invited for information sharing pertaining to the three (3) year programme. The launch sealed the agreement between Umgeni Water and the schools who came to understand Umgeni Water’s objectives. Schools that benefitted previously were given an opportunity to share their experiences on their involvement in the programme. All adopted schools participated in various programmes including the commemoration of special days. Each adopted school has also identified a community project to embark on.
Institutional and social development (isd)
Community engagement is also a critical success factor for the successful implementation of capital infrastructure projects and is approached in a manner that ensures there is community input regarding the resolution of issues affecting them.
Each project presents unique issues or opportunities and required targeted interventions. Umgeni Water’s institutional and social development facilitators play a key role in this process. As a result of the successful management of these engagements, a foundation of trust has been built with community stakeholders.
Communities are also being continuously engaged regarding risks associated with servitude encroachments. Umgeni Water’s experience is that all stakeholders are willing to work together in the interest of providing sustainable water access to communities.
The early involvement of ISD facilitators in terms of community engagement has led to improved management of projects with respect to the employment of local labour and the provision of lower level work components to local businesses. A total of nineteen (19) projects were supported during this reporting period. As a result of this initiative, thirteen (13) of the projects were managed successfully without any stoppages.
Corporate social investment (csi) programme
During the period under the review, CSI projects were implemented according to the
CSI policy where projects / applications were screened to ascertain alignment with the CSI Policy as well as the CSI framework. Unplanned projects, also referred to as reactive projects were utilised for implementing initiatives across all focus areas.
Seventeen (17) initiatives were implemented during the 2018/2019 financial year. The CSI budget for the year was R7 million. A summary of the CSI spending per category is depicted below.
Education and training category
Six (6) initiatives were undertaken in the Education and Training category. A total of R1 034 580 was spent as follows:
- Mpophomeni High School (R300 000.00): sponsored the conversion of one (1) of its classrooms into a laboratory.
- Linpark High School orphaned learner (R70 000): sponsorship towards tuition, books and boarding fees for an orphaned Grade 12 learner Ms Lebohang Mashego at Linpark High School in Pietermaritzburg.
- Mtholangqondo Secondary School (R20 000): for the purchase of a photocopying machine to accommodate the urgent need at the school.
- Ashdown Primary School (R400 000): sponsored the partitioning of the school hall, purchase of a park home to be utilised as a Grade R classroom and replacement of whiteboards.
- Zamazulu High School Disability relief (R94 580): purchase and fitment of a prosthetic leg for Miss Mtungwa, a Grade 10 learner at Zamazulu High School. The sponsorship also included physiotheraphy training sessions related to the use of the limb.
- Umqhele Tutoring Programme (R150 000): sponsorship towards the provision of catering and tutoring of 173 matriculants from uMqhele High School in Mathematics, Maths Literacy, Accounting and Physical Science to improve their performance in their final examinations.
Public health and community development category
Umgeni Water also strives
Public health and community development category
Three (3) initiatives were undertaken in the Public Health and Community Development category. A total of R2.9 million was spent as follows:
- Richmond Youth & HIV (R300 000): sponsorship of a Youth HIV Support Programme in the Richmond area. The programme provides services which include voluntary testing, social welfare and medical services.
- Umgeni Water – Linda Sibiya Foundation Youth Empowerment Programme Partnership (R2.2 million): In its second year of implementation, Youth empowerment and social welfare programmes have been implemented in three (3) Local Municipalities, namely uMshwathi, Mandeni and Umdoni.
- Inanda Child Welfare (R350 000): sponsorship towards the purchase of a vehicle and administration equipment for an NPO that focuses on abuse and rape crisis counselling and child welfare programmes.
Arts, culture and sports category
A total of R375 000 was spent on two (2) initiatives as follows:
- Phantane Athletics Club (R150 000): sponsorship towards the purchase of a running kit, running licences for twenty (20) athletes,accommodation, food and supplements for the runners who participated in the 2019 Comrades Marathon.
- UThukela District Municipality Netball Team (R115 000): sponsorship towards travel, accommodation and attire for a team of twelve (12) girls to participate in a netball tournament that was held in Cape Town in June 2019.
- Simphiwe Shembe Comedy Development Programme (R110 000): sponsorship of a local comedy academy to develop young talent.
A total of R1.4 million was spent on the following two (2) initiatives:
- Mpophomeni Eco Champs (R350 000): sponsorship towards training and stipends for fi ve (5) locals in Mpophomeni to carry out water and sewer line monitoring.
- Duzi Adopt a River (R1 million): Capacitation of ten (10) unemployed youth and women to form a cooperative. This cooperative will provide integrated eco systems services to revitalize the 7.3 km section of the Darvill Loop Green Corridor.
Umgeni Water 2018/2019 Nelson Mandela Centenary initiatives