Overstrand Municipality walked away proud and immensely motivated after being awarded as winners of the 2022 Municipal Green Economy Change Champions Competition for significant upgrades to the water and wastewater treatment facilities.
GreenCape and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) bestowed the green economy innovation awards during an online event on 12 October 2022 in recognition of municipality’s ability to apply innovative and sustainable green technologies that improve service delivery.
“There are many extraordinarily innovative sustainable municipal initiatives that are not adequately spoken about, shared or celebrated. These projects are implemented in complex environments, with numerous challenges, and often have strong replication potential,” said Cecelia Kok, head of research and advocacy projects, South Africa.
“GreenCape and FNF therefore reached out to municipalities across the country to nominate sustainability projects that they have implemented or are in the process of implementing,” she added.
Through this competition municipalities are able to celebrate and share learnings from novel green economy solutions that have been tested and implemented successfully.
What stood out to us about this project was the long-term vision of the Overstrand Municipality,” said Taahirah Ghoor, Senior Analyst, Circular Economy at GreenCape.
“The municipality made significant upgrades to their wastewater treatment facilities, increasing capacity by 40%, but also introduced new Nereda technology, reverse osmosis, bio-filtration, ultra-filtration and anaerobic digestion technologies which facilitated the need for highly skilled operations and maintenance personnel.
When a system is significantly upgraded or extended, section 77 of the Municipal Systems Act requires a municipality to review and decide on an appropriate mechanism to deliver water services in the municipality. This enables the municipality to then initiate the process of outsourcing the operations and maintenance of the facility.”
Dean O’Neill, the Overstrand Municipal Manager, thanked the entire project team. “We hope that other municipalities can replicate this project and we are also proud that it demonstrates a long-term vision, with the outsourced operation and maintenance of the water services infrastructure ensuring its longevity and addressing the long-term water service delivery needs of communities,” he added.
Mayor Rabie echoed the MM’s sentiments and added that she is especially proud of the fact that the Overstrand Municipality competed with metro’s and larger municipalities and still won, thus strengthening the believe that in local government it is possible for smaller municipalities to successfully compete against the larger ones.
The following projects were shortlisted as finalists alongside the Overstrand Municipality’s water and wastewater treatment facilities under the theme ‘Outsourcing of Bulk Water Services Operation and Maintenance’:
• City of Cape Town
Project: Energy Management System that improves the quality of water from wastewater treatment plants while minimising wasted energy.
• George Municipality
Project: Electricity Wheeling Project that gives municipal custoemrs alternative options to source electricity.
• uMhlatuze Local Municipality
Project: Drone technology to improve the management of non-revenue water and water losses.
• Nkomazi Local Municipality
Project: Operates the Untum Recycling buyback centre to divert waste from landfills.
Overstrand Municipality won a professionally produced video that will showcase the project and its success and give them the opportunity to inspire other municipalities in South Africa.