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First short course in water governance skills
Author: Media & Communication, Faculty of Science
Published: 13/02/2017

A group of 25 municipal officials and educators from Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in the Western Cape attended the first Water Governance for Water Leaders learning programme at Stellenbosch University (SU).

The programme, presented by the SU Water Institute (SUWI) in partnership with its School of Public Leadership (SPL), was developed specifically for municipal councillors and officials by the SPL’s Prof. Erwin Schwella in collaboration with several experts in the water sector.

Prof. Schwella says the course connects the fields of leadership development, practices in water governance and leadership innovation in public water utilities and institutions by way of comparative and relevant case studies.

The course, which is registered with SU and holds nine credits on level eight of the National Qualifications Framework, took place from 6 to 10 February 2017.

Municipal officials from Hessequa, George, Knysna, Swellendam and the City of Cape Town attended, as well as educators and officials from Boland College, South Cape College, Northlink College and representatives from various non-governmental organisations and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the water sector. A representative of the policy and regulation division of the Department of Water and Sanitation attended as an observer.

During the course, partipicants had to complete a class-based group project and an examination at the end of the programme. Participants also have to submit an individual assignment by the end of February, after which the successful candidates will receive a Certificate of Competence.

During this week, they were also addressed by a panel of experts in the water industry. They were Dr Thokozani Kanyerere, senior lecturer in hydrology at the Institute for Water Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Prof. Jaqui Goldin, extra-ordinary professor of anthropology and water sciences at UWC, Ms B.D. Hene, director: policy and regulation in the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), and Mr George Tsibane, consultant and former chief director in the DWS.  

Mr Errol Gradwell, chief executive officer of the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), gave the welcoming address at the beginning of the programme.

Mr Manuel Jackson, project-manager at SUWI, says apart from the learning programme they are also developing an occupational qualification in waste water treatment in partnership with EWSETA under the framework of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

“TVET Colleges can play a pivotal role in building capacity in the water sector and specifically in a critically important area such as waste water treatment,” he adds.

The next learning programme will take place from 8 to 12 May 2017 at the Saldanha Municipality. For information about upcoming workshops and short courses, contact Ms. Katherine Morris at kmorris@sun.ac.za or 021 808 9453.